A wide-ranging cross-Strait economic pact has saved companies on the mainland and in Taiwan millions of dollars in duty cuts, and negotiators from both sides have agreed to conduct follow-up talks in a "step-by-step manner," a mainland economic negotiator said Thursday.
Enterprises from Taiwan saved about $230 billion in tariffs from Jan 1, 2011, to March 2012, following the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), said Jiang Yaoping, a leading mainland representative.
The tax reductions were applied to $5.89 billion worth of commodities that Taiwan sold to the mainland in the same period, Jiang said in a news briefing after a regular meeting with his counterpart from Taiwan at the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC).
The ECC was jointly set up by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF)in January 2011 to handle issues concerning the ECFA, an economic pact that is set to facilitate cross-Strait trade and service exchanges.
When reviewing the progress in the service sector, Jiang said six accounting firms from Taiwan had obtained permits to operate for one year on the Chinese mainland as of March 2012.
In the same period, more than 130 enterprises from Taiwan were allowed to set up wholly-owned or joint ventures on the mainland, five movies from Taiwan hit mainland theaters and 19 financial institutions from Taiwan were qualified to either act as investors, set up branches or conduct Renminbi business, Jiang told the media on behalf of the negotiators attending the ECC.
Mainland businesses benefited from the ECFA as well. Taiwan customs revealed that in the 15 months ending March 2012, mainland businesses enjoyed $33.56 million in tax cuts under the ECFA framework.