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Taiwan Fruit to Bear Product Stickers
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All fruit coming from Taiwan Province under a zero-tariff arrangement will bear a sticker of "original product" to safeguard the island's exports.

Market regulators have launched a large-scale effort to protect the interests of the island province's farmers and traders.

A total of 18 provincial administrations for industry and commerce, instructed by their national supervisors, signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province, to launch a series of measures to stop vendors selling fruit claiming to be from Taiwan.

Zheng Lizhong, executive vice-minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the move highlights the determination of the government to protect the benefits of farmers and agricultural companies in the province.

"When the government said we want to bring benefits to our fellow farmers in Taiwan, we mean it," said Zheng, on the sidelines of the ninth Cross-Straits Fair of Economy and Trade, which opened on Friday.

The government said it would apply zero tariffs on 15 kinds of fruit from Taiwan. Fruit from the island is mainly shipped to Xiamen in Fujian Province.

In the last two years, a total of 1,000 tons of fruit, half of the island's produce, was shipped to mainland markets and distributed to 18 provincial regions.

In the first four months of this year, 600 tons of fruit went through Xiamen port.

However, due to the good quality and rare species of some fruit from Taiwan, bogus claims of fruit from the island have emerged causing concern to the island's farmers and fruit dealers.

Better Huang, a fruit dealer from Taiwan, said his company had opened four branches in Fuzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian to sell fruit from Taiwan to wholesalers or chain stores, and competition had increased significantly last year.

Many dealers, legitimate and bogus, had entered the market as fruit from Taiwan sold at high prices.

Wholesalers or retailers will now also have to produce an invoice showing the fruit they sell is from Taiwan.

On Thursday, Fujian Province also opened a distribution centre in Fuzhou, for fruit from Taiwan.

(China Daily May 19, 2007)

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