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Taiwan and China cement trade routes

Taiwan and China cement trade routes

Taipei: Long-time political rivals Taiwan and China signed a number of deals yesterday that will create significant economic ties between the two countries. The agreements include the introduction of direct cargo shipping between the countries, with the bonus of business and income tax exemptions for local companies using the Taiwan Strait to transport the goods.

Chiang Pin-kung, head of the Strait Exchange Foundation, told reporters that the direct cargo link is expected to cut shipping costs by 15-30% as vessel transit times would be cut by up to 27 hours depending on the ports involved.  China is slated to approve 63 ports for direct seaborne trade, while Taiwan is to approve 11 ports.

AFP quotes the Taiwanese official as stating that the agreements would 'greatly boost Taiwan's competitiveness,' and grant the island a greater slice of the Chinese market.

Other agreements signed set out deals on daily direct flights, food safety and postal services between the countries.  [04/11/08]