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Mainland Opens Market for 22 Taiwan Fruits
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The Chinese mainland on Monday scrapped tariffs on 22 varieties of fruit from Taiwan, four more than the previous number announced by the central government.

The four new fruits added to the list are oranges, lemons, pitayas and Hami melons. Eleven varieties of vegetable were also given open access to the mainland market Monday.

Meanwhile, seafood netted by Taiwan fishing boats will be allowed to be sold in the coastal Fujian Province subject to the same trading policies for mainland catches and without the requirement of Taiwan quarantine certificates.

The mainland will take more measures to reduce transportation costs of Taiwan agricultural produce, for instance, reducing or abolishing freeway charges for trucks transporting Taiwan products.

Preferential policies for Taiwan farmers showed the mainland's sincerity in helping them sell their products and promoting cross-Strait agricultural exchanges and cooperation, said Yu Yongwei, director of the Cross-Straits Association of Agricultural Exchanges.

"The mainland will try its best as long as it's beneficial to cross-Straits agricultural exchanges. We mean what we say and our commitment is steadfast," he said.

The mainland's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also pledged to streamline quarantine procedures for Taiwan agricultural products.

Statistics show that Taiwan exported 3,400 tons of fruit to the mainland last year, with a value of US$3.22 million and an increase of 35 percent from 2004, despite a drop in fruit production in Taiwan due to typhoons and rainstorms.

(Xinhua News Agency May 2, 2006)

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