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Apr 02. 2010, No. 025

  • Date:2010-04-02

MAC: Taiwan and Hong Kong will soon establish a new cooperation mechanism

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced that, in order to upgrade interactions and exchanges between Taiwan and Hong Kong, the government has taken the initiative to actively plan to establish the "Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Council (ECCC)." Currently, most of the planning and preparation work has been carried out. When the establishment procedures are completed in the near future in accordance with legal stipulations, the ECCC will begin operations.

The MAC stated that, after close liaison and discussions between Taiwan and Hong Kong since June last year, the two sides agreed that  Taiwan would establish the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Council, while Hong Kong would establish the "Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Cooperation and Promotion Council (ECCPC)." The two new entities will serve as a platform to jointly promote economic, trade, and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as promote and integrate related cooperation affairs, thus further strengthening and upgrading official interactions.

The MAC has started specific planning for the composition of the ECCC’s board of directors and supervisors according to its planned organizational framework for the ECCC. Under the current plan, the ECCC will have 21 directors (See Appendix for details of the ECCC’s organizational structure and personnel plan), including officials and private sector individuals from various fields. The ECCC’s directors from the government sector will include representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Government Information Office, MAC, Financial Supervisory Commission, and Council for Cultural Affairs, as well as the Director-General of the Bureau of Hong Kong Affairs of the MAC. The ECCC’s private sector directors will be drawn from among the leaders of major industrial and commercial organizations in Taiwan, as well as representatives of the aviation and tourism industry, academic sector, and cultural and creative industries. The ECCC will handle overall planning and integrate strengths and resources from various sectors of society to jointly assist in promoting and upgrading interactions and relations between Taiwan and Hong Kong. Former Minister of Finance Lin Chen-kuo is slated to serve as chairman of said entity.

Two committees will be established under the ECCC, including an "Economic Cooperation Committee" and "Cultural Cooperation Committee," with each in charge of promoting exchange and cooperation affairs in a specific manner. Moreover, in order to effectively provide administrative and staff support for the ECCC’s work, the director of the MAC's Department of Hong Kong & Macao Affairs will concurrently serve as the ECCC’s secretary-general.

The MAC emphasized that in the future when assisting the government in handling affairs related to Taiwan-Hong Kong policy implementation, the ECCC will need the full cooperation and assistance of Taiwan's representative offices in Hong Kong. In the future, the MAC's Bureau of Hong Kong Affairs will play a more active role in  expanding Taiwan-Hong Kong relations. Therefore, the establishment of the ECCC will not affect the current functions of Taiwan's representative offices in Hong Kong. On the contrary, the promotion of the ECCC’s operations will help to enhance contacts with various sectors of Hong Kong society and upgrade the functions of the representative offices.

In its future operations, the ECCC will fully coordinate with the government's policies to ensure that its various activities conform to Taiwan's overall interests. In the past, due to objective environmental factors, communication and interactions between Taiwan and Hong Kong on related matters did not run smoothly. In the future, the government will actively engage in negotiations and cooperation with Hong Kong on urgent and important issues related to Taiwan's economic development through its participation in the operations of the ECCC platform. In the current phase, priority issues for promotion will include Taiwan-Hong Kong aviation rights negotiations and medical and health cooperation between the two areas. In addition, the ECCC will assist the government in handling exchange visits between Taiwan and Hong Kong officials, as well as jointly plan economic and trade cooperation forums with the Hong Kong side, jointly discuss issues concerning the direction of  Taiwan-Hong Kong economic and trade cooperation, and promote economic and trade cooperation and cultural and creative industry exchanges between Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Appendix download:
Appendix: Organizational Structure and Personnel Plan of the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Council(pdf file)