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Progress Made in Cross-Straits Agricultural Cooperation

The increasing cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan complement in agriculture has "bright prospects," Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin said in Beijing Thursday.
"Encouraging progress has been made in the past two decades in cross-Straits agricultural cooperation," Du said at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing Third Session of the 10th National People's Congress.
The mainland and Taiwan are complimentary in agricultural development, he said, adding, "Taiwan has advanced technologies, improved strains and species, while the Chinese mainland has rich resources and a huge market."
Based on these advantages, several trial cooperation programs have been launched in the provinces of Fujian, Hainan and Heilongjiang. "We'll improve the environment and create favorable conditions for Taiwan's farm produce to enter the mainland market."
Taiwan's farming industry faces intensified competitions after the province's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2002. Tons of agricultural products, especially fruits, are facing dire plight on the market. To resolve the problem, many people engaged in agriculture and related business resort to the mainland, where the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said has no special restrictions on their entry at present.
Last year, the mainland bought US$116 million worth of farm produce from Taiwan, 10.4 percent more than the previous year. The figure made up only 1 percent of the Chinese mainland's total imports of farm produce in the year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. 

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2005)

Cross-Straits to Strengthen Agricultural Cooperation
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