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Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement

(1) At the Ninth Round of Cross-Strait High-Level Talks between the SEF and the ARATS in June 2013, the two sides signed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the Trade in Services Agreement). This pact is a follow-up agreement under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. Through consultations, the two sides have agreed on institutionalized norms for the cross-strait trade in services. They also have agreed to mutually open up their service markets, representing an important step in liberalizing the cross-strait trade in services. This will help the two sides to complement their strengths and build competitiveness. It will also bring long-term and positive economic well-being for the people on both sides. Specifically, under the agreement, the Mainland will open up 80 service items to Taiwan, all exceeding the level of its WTO commitments. Taiwanese companies will enjoy higher shareholding ratios, broader permitted business scopes and trade facilitation measures that provide preferential treatment to help them to expand in the Mainland service market. In the area of permitting Mainland investment in Taiwan, such investment will help create jobs and inject new life blood into the economy.

(2) The signing of the Trade in Services Agreement also sends a message to the international community of Taiwan’s further liberalization in trade. This will accelerate the signing of free trade agreements between related countries and Taiwan. It will also lay a foundation for Taiwan's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and other regional economic integration pacts.

(3) The signing of the Trade in Services Agreement will help the people do business and enhance Taiwan's competitiveness by liberalizing trade in services. It will help Taiwan achieve the goals of its economic development strategy, namely to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and expand globally."