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October 14, 2009

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Talks on FTA-like pact soon

THE Chinese mainland and Taiwan will begin formal talks on a free trade agreement-like deal at the end of this month, Taiwan authorities said yesterday.

An "early harvest" list of sectors that will benefit from the deal range from petrochemicals and textiles to banking and retail industries, the island said in a statement.

"In the service industry sector, the financial services industry will seek access to the Chinese mainland's banking, securities and insurance markets on more favorable terms than WTO preferential treatment," the statement said, but did not elaborate.

Taiwan said informal negotiations would begin next week, but did not say where the talks would take place. Analysts expect both sides to sign the deal, called the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, some time next year.

The warming ties across the strait have helped open up the tourism and transport sectors.


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