TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post Staff
Since both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland have joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh recently said she would follow the free trade principle in developing Taiwan’s economic relations with the mainland.
While the MOEA has been working to lift the ban on light oil crackers, IC testing and packaging companies making investments on the mainland, Ho said she would like to open Taiwan’s market to more agricultural products shipped from the mainland. Currently, around 8,000 kinds of mainland-grown agricultural products are allowed to enter Taiwan, but they are mostly canned food and they all account for only 10 percent or so of all the categories of agricultural products on the mainland.
“It’s a policy to solve several problems at one time,” Ho described. First, it’s to provide a legal channel for the products which used to be smuggled into Taiwan to enter the island through an appropriate avenue. “It can help increase the government’s income from tariffs on one hand and assure the safety of food on the other,” Ho said.
Second, the WTO will hold a meeting later this month where it may ask Taiwan to open its agricultural market to imports. “Taiwan had better take an earlier action to open its market first,” Ho said.