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Taiwan farmers attend Beijing trade fair
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-18 06:03

Because there are no direct links across the Taiwan Straits, fruit and other farm produce cannot be delivered directly from Taiwan to Beijing or other mainland cities.

"We hope the mainland and Taiwan can have a system allowing farm produce to enter the mainland more quickly to ensure their quality and reduce transport costs," Wang said.

Since the 1980s, exchanges in agricultural sector between Taiwan and the mainland have been on the rise despite restrictions.

Last year, the Chinese mainland became the fourth export target of Taiwan's farm produce, with US$292 million in export volume, up 66 per cent, according to agriculture authorities in Taiwan.

By the end of last year, about 5,000 Taiwan-invested farm companies had invested on the mainland, with investment totalling US$3 billion.

Business increased following visits to the mainland by Taiwan's former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party Lien Chan and the chairman of the People First Party James Soong, who reached a series of consensus on cross-Straits relations with Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China.

In May, the mainland announced it would grant more access to Taiwan fruit, from 12 to 18 species, and offer zero tariffs on at least 15 types of fruit.

The mainland will make more efforts to ease the import of farm produce, including in customs clearance and quarantine, said Yu Yongxiong, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the Ministry of Agriculture, at a press conference yesterday.

"The trade fair will be a good platform for farmers across the Straits to promote exchanges and co-operation so as to achieve a win-win outcome."

(China Daily 10/18/2005 page3)

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