The proposed cross-strait investment protection agreement will provide comprehensive and institutionalized protection to firms operating on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and spur bilateral business activity, according to the Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan Aug. 3.
Set to be concluded Aug. 9 in Taipei City by Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation and his Beijing counterpart Chen Yunlin, head of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, the pact is expected to take effect by year-end following ROC legislative approval.
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan said as mainland China is the top destination for outbound Taiwan investment, the agreement will establish an institutionalized framework for protecting the commercial rights of ROC nationals based on the other side of the strait.
The pact covers Taiwan firms making direct and indirect investment in mainland China, Lai said. It also takes into account the fact that nearly half of these firms operate through a third party in another country or territory, she added.
In addition to safeguarding investor commercial rights, the agreement also stipulates protection of their personal safety. If Taiwan investors or their employees and dependents are detained, mainland Chinese authorities are required to notify family members within 24 hours.
Another distinctive feature is a clause prescribing the settlement of disputes between firms from the two sides.
Taiwan first proposed the pact in May 1995 during consultations before the second round of talks between then SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu and his counterpart Wang Daohan. The idea was put on ice due to political issues that affected cross-strait relations at the time, the MAC said.
The agreement was revisited in June 2008 by Taiwan, but little progress was made largely stemming from complications surrounding the issue of dispute settlement.
“We will continue consulting with the Legislature, relevant central government agencies, academics and the private sector on the pact to ensure that its implementation is in the best interest of the people of Taiwan,” Lai said.