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Cross-strait pact to protect businesses: MAC

A cross-strait investment protection agreement (兩岸投資保障協定) that is expected to be signed soon will provide more comprehensive protection to Taiwanese businesspersons' investments in China and their personal security, said Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday.

“The agreement will serve as a better guarantee to Taiwanese investors on the other side of the Strait than the investment protection law currently in place in China,” Lai told at a legislative session yesterday.

According to Lai, who serves as head of Taiwan's top government agency responsible for mainland policy, local representatives and their Chinese counterparts have reached a consensus that the agreement would offer protection not only to Taiwanese businesses who conduct direct investment in China, but also to those Taiwanese who invest in China through intermediaries.

In addition, Lai said the two sides had also reached a consensus to expand the investment protection of Taiwanese businesses in China to include personal safety.

The pact will feature a mechanism for the resolution of disputes between China-based Taiwanese and Chinese businesses, she added.

Lai made the comments at a briefing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday on the latest developments in cross-strait talks on such an agreement.

The Eighth Chiang-Chen Meeting

According to previously announcements by the Taiwan government, the cross-strait investment protection agreement is expected to be signed by Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his mainland counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), when they meet in Taiwan later this month for the eighth Chiang-Chen Meeting (江陳會).

When asked by lawmakers yesterday, however, the MAC chief would not confirm the exact date and location of the meeting.

During her report, Lai said a study shows that more than 65 percent of business disputes Taiwanese encounter in China are between Taiwanese businesses and their Chinese counterparts.

To solve the dispute, the MAC head said the Chinese side agrees to include a dispute resolution protocol between China-based Taiwanese businessmen and Chinese businesses and authorities.

Speaking at the legislative session yesterday, Deputy Economic Minister Liang Kuo-hsin (梁國新) said the signing of the cross-strait agreement is expected to offer more “institutionalized protection” to Taiwanese businesses operating in China.

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