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May 26, 2017

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MAC deputy minister discusses cross-strait agricultural trade

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan will begin cross-strait negotiations to help establish a uniform inspection standard for trade in local agricultural products and alcohol, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said yesterday in a mainland policy and cross-strait relationship forum in Taichung.

 Chang, together with Taichung Deputy Mayor Mark K. Huang (黃國榮), Executive Yuan's Central Taiwan Joint Service Center Chief Hou Hui-xian (侯惠仙) and other officials, attended the forum yesterday afternoon, discussing the government's direction in future cross-strait trade policies with industry representatives from Taichung.

Chang noted that Taichung not only has great agricultural development, but its culture and business are also vital to Taiwan. In addition, important transportation hubs such as Taichung Harbor and Ching-Chuan-Kang Airport will be open for use after Taichung City merges with Taichung County to become "Greater Taichung," which will bring lots of tourists and commercial opportunities, Chang said.

Hou stressed the importance of marketing, praising Jason Hu (胡志強), the present Taichung mayor, for doing a good job of selling sun cakes and pineapple cakes to places like mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong and the U.S..

 Huang said that he appreciates MAC for holding the forum in Taichung, which provides a chance for people to express their opinions on the government's cross-strait policies. "Taichung has the best cross-strait relationship compared to other regions in Taiwan, only second to that of Taipei, not only because it has a good geographical location, but the mayor's policies also have a significant effect," he said.

The representatives of Heping Farmer's Association put forward that they wish the government would establish an electronic platform for the mainland Chinese to purchase Taichung's agricultural products and local specialties. Meanwhile, the liquor industry's representatives also expressed their wish for the government to speed up the process in which liquor passes through customs.

Chang responded by saying that agricultural products need to go through inspections before they are distributed. The main problem they face is how to accelerate the process. He promised that he would begin cross-strait negotiations to help the trade of agricultural products and alcohol between mainland China and Taiwan.

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