Emerging and service industries set for boost

Updated: 2011-10-29 08:04

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

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Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan plan to improve economic links

BEIJING - The emerging and service industries are expected to be the main beneficiaries of economic cooperation agreements between the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, officials said on Friday.

The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) have broadened the scope for trade and investment, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said at a forum in Beijing.

The mainland first signed the CEPA with Hong Kong in 2003, followed by seven supplementary agreements. The mainland signed the ECFA - reducing tariffs on more than 800 items - with Taiwan on June 29, 2010.

In 2010, the trade volume between the mainland and Hong Kong reached $230.58 billion, a rise of 31.8 percent year-on-year, while trade between the mainland and Taiwan stood at $145.37 billion, up 36.9 percent year-on-year.

Wang called for the mainland to further open its service trade to Hong Kong, while Fu Ziying, deputy minister of commerce, urged more opportunities for cooperation in emerging industries across the Taiwan Straits.

"While strengthening the potential for traditional industries across the Straits, we will strive to build new cooperation in emerging industries, including green technology, low carbon, environmental protection and energy conservation. We will also expand cooperation in information services, logistics, finance and telecom," Fu said.

With high unemployment in developed economies and high inflation in emerging markets, the global economy is slowing down and the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan need to join hands and deepen trade cooperation to jointly ward off external trade risks, Fu said.

Wang Yi, minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said that the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan have become the most economically dynamic areas in the world and will "serve as the driver of economic development in the Asia-Pacific region and even in the world amid the global financial crisis".

The service industry between the mainland and Hong Kong has great prospects, according to Fu.

"Negotiations about the eighth supplementary agreement of the CEPA have already started and the mainland will take more active measures to further open its market to the traditional and emerging service industries," Fu said.

Fu said that the mainland will continue to provide financial and insurance support to enterprises from Hong Kong and Taiwan engaged in the mainland's processing trade.