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Value of Agricultural Product Exports to China Doubles Benefits of Cross-strait Policies and ECFA Appear


The Council of Agriculture (COA) said that due to such beneficial policies as opening of cross-strait direct flights, direct shipping of live fish transport vessels from Taiwan to Hong Kong and other China harbors, and signing of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) since December 2008, the total value of Taiwan agricultural product exports to China and the export value of early harvest items between January and July 2011 grew 33% and 262% respectively as compared with the same period last year. And the two sides have signed cooperation agreements on such issues as intellectual property right protection, agricultural product quarantine and inspection, and fishing crew affairs to effectively build a platform for cross-strait communications, demonstrating the concrete benefits of cross-strait policies.

Export of Agricultural Product Items on ECFA Early Harvest List Grows Significantly

The government has adhered to its commitment to Taiwan domestic farmers when signing the ECFA, government still insists the followings: continuing to control the import of 830 items of mainland agricultural products, no tariff rate lowering for the 1,415 items which have been permitted to be imported from China, and China giving preferential treatment to Oncidium (spider orchid), golden needle mushroom, banana, tea, live grouper and 13 other major Taiwan agricultural products, to which the domestic industry has attached great importance, on the early harvest list, explained the COA. With the lowering of tariff rates on the 18 items starting on January 1, 2011, the export of these agricultural products between January and July totaled US$69.31 million, increasing 262% from US$19.15 million last year. And the value of exported frozen Pacific saury, live grouper, fresh soft-shelled turtle eggs and tea increased 901%, 391%, 23% and 89% respectively.

Cross-strait Agreement Protects Intellectual Property Rights of Taiwan Agricultural Varieties

The Council further noted that the cross-strait Cooperation Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection has given Taiwan agricultural product exports more protection. According to the agreement, the two sides will strengthen the protection of patents and new plant varieties. So far Phalaenopsis orchid has been announced by China as an item included in new variety protection, and Chinese authorities have been studying the feasibility of including Indian jujube, guava, mango, Oncidium and butterfly orchid in the protection items. Moreover, the two labels of “CAS Taiwan Premium Agricultural Products” and “CAS Taiwan Organic Agricultural Products” obtained in April 2011 the certificates of trademark registration in China .

Cooperation Agreement on Agricultural Products Quarantine and Inspection Facilitates Export of Taiwan Agricultural and Fishery Products

With regard to the cross-strait Cooperation Agreement on Agricultural Products Quarantine and Inspection, the two sides have established the communication platform. So far five livestock and poultry product manufacturers have been given permission by China to export Taiwan products after passing quarantine and inspection procedures, fresh pear has been issued export permit following assessment and field investigation, and farm chemical residue safety standards on agricultural products being exported to China have been accepted, demonstrating the concrete results of facilitating the export of Taiwan agricultural and fishery products.

Cooperation Agreement on Fishing Crew Affairs Safeguards Rights and Interests of Both Employers and Employees

According to the cross-strait Cooperation Agreement on Fishing Crew Affairs, the employment of mainland fishing crew has to be done by agencies approved by the Taiwan government or assignment companies approved by Chinese authorities, and the hired fishing crew must receive professional trainings and pass check on their daily behaviors so as to enhance the fishing crew’s professional quality, explained the COA. At present a total of 2,799 Chinese crew members have been employed and both sides across the Taiwan Straits are satisfied with the progress of cooperation on fishing crew affairs. (2011-08-22 )