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Trade-in-goods pact expected H1 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- China's top negotiator on Monday visited Cecilia Koo, widow of the first chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, and said he expects the signing of Taiwan-China trade-in-goods agreement in the first half of 2014.

On the eve of his departure from Taiawn on Tuesday, China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Chen Deming (陳德銘) scheduled eight visits, including to HTC (宏達電), Delta Electronics Inc. (台達電) and Evergreen Maritime Museum.

While paying a visit to Cecilia Koo (辜嚴倬雲), Chen said that passage of the Taiwan-China Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is only half-finished without the signing of the trade-in-goods agreement and a settlement-dispute mechanism.

Chen expects that ARATS and its Taiwanese counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), to finish the signing of the trade-in-goods agreement in the first half of 2014, despite that the Taiwan-China trade-in-service pact hasn't cleared Taiwan's Legislative Yuan.

Cecilia Koo is the widow of Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫), who was a Taiwanese businessman and diplomat. As the first chairman of the SEF, Koo arranged the first direct talks between Taiwan and China since 1949 and served as Taiwan's negotiator with his Chinese counterpart Wang Dao-han (汪道涵) in both the 1993 and 1998 rounds of negotiations.

Chen Deming also visited the Taipei headquarters of Delta Electronics Inc. on Monday, where he called for closer industrial cooperation in eco-friendly technology.

According to the Taiwan-based Central News Agency (CNA), Chen showed great interest in energy-efficient products developed by Delta, the world's largest supplier of switching power supplies, during his visit.

At a meeting with Bruce Cheng (鄭崇華), the company's founder and honorary chairman, Chen said that Taiwan and China should work together in developing technologies such as power systems for electric vehicles and energy-saving elevators, citing worldwide trends and China's own research and development efforts.

In response, Cheng proposed closer cooperation in promoting green architecture to protect the environment.

Chen is leading a trade delegation from China on his first visit to Taiwan since assuming his post in April. On Monday, he also sat down with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin for lunch.

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Mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Chen Deming (陳德銘), front row third right, on Monday visits Evergreen Group Chairman Chang Yung-fa (張榮發), front row second left. Chang led Chen around Evergreen Maritime Museum, showing him a miniature replica of a Qing dynasty battleship gifted by the Chinese Shipyard Culture Museum. (CNA)

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