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Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)

(1) Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was signed at the Fifth Round of Chiang-Chen Talks held on June 29, 2010, and came into effect on September 12 the same year. Overall, the ECFA is highly significant to Taiwan's economy. It also sets a new milestone in cross-strait economic cooperation. The ECFA can help to put Taiwan on an equal footing in foreign trade, institutionalize cross-strait economic exchanges, further motivate other countries to sign free trade agreements with Taiwan, and promote closer linkages with the world.

(2) After the ECFA came into effect, both sides began to actively implement the ECFA early harvest program. In the area of trade in services, the two sides opened up five service sectors on October 28th and November 1 of 2010 as the first stage of opening up. Since the full roll out of the early harvest program on January 1 of 2013, benefits have gradually appeared. The two sides will continue to enhance the implementation of the early harvest program to benefit the people on both sides.

(3) In terms of supporting response measures, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has developed a comprehensive "Program to Assist Industries in Adjusting to Trade Liberalization." The program provides a variety of support measures for industries and workers that may be affected by the agreement. The program's total budget for the period of 2010 to 2019 is about NT$98.2 billion, with funding to be drawn from the official budgets and of relevant ministry and department funds. Under the program, three distinct types of adjustment and support strategies will be adopted for different target groups to aid potentially affected industries and workers: 1. Proactively provide stimulus and guidance to industries that are domestic demand-oriented, less competitive, and easily affected by the impact of trade liberalization and therefore require stronger guidance; 2. Proactively provide structural adjustment assistance to industries facing increased imports but which have not yet been affected; and 3. Proactively provide damage relief to industries, enterprises and workers that have suffered damages.

(4) The ECFA is an important action under the government's overall economic strategy to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and expand globally." It is the first step in "bringing the world to Taiwan and advancing Taiwan in the world." It helps to upgrade Taiwan's economic position and seeks to fundamentally change Taiwan's role in the Asia-Pacific economy. The government has drafted a blueprint for Taiwan's economic development based on the new environment emerging since the signing of the ECFA to create more advantageous conditions for Taiwan's economy, facilitate Taiwan's development as a "Next Generation Asia-Pacific Operations Center," and pave a favorable path for Taiwan's long-term economic development and the upgrading of Taiwan's overall economic competitiveness.