China's State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) will allow more fruits, vegetables and seafood from Taiwan to be exported to the mainland from May 1.
The notice released on Friday said that the number of types of fruit that can be exported will be increased from 18 to 22. The four new fruits added to the list include oranges, lemons, pitayas and cantaloups.
Eleven types of Taiwan-grown vegetables will also be able to be sold on the mainland.
The seafood from Taiwan fishing boats will be allowed to be shipped to the coastal Fujian province and it will be subject to the same trading policies as on the mainland.
These preferential measures are more practical and flexible for Taiwan farmers and will greatly assist them to sell their products, said Yu Taiwei, Director General of the Department of Animal and Plant Quarantine of AQSIQ.
He added that growers of oranges and lemons have suffered a lot from the sale of their products in Taiwan in recent years.
"It is good news for Taiwan fruit and vegetable growers since they will have more channels to sell their products", he said.
"Yet with a comparatively high price, these vegetables and fruits are placed at a disadvantage in the mainland's market", Yu said, attributing the high price to high transport costs across the Taiwan Straits.
He said that generally speaking the transport of these products to the mainland will take two days via planes and six or seven days via ship, which will cost a lot of money and greatly affects the freshness of these products.
With more convenient transportation, Taiwan farmers and growers would benefit more from these measures, he said.
Statistics show that Taiwan has exported a total of 3,400 tons of fruits to the mainland in 2005, worth of US$3.22 million and an increase of 35 percent from that of 2004, despite a decrease in fruit production in Taiwan due to typhoons and rainstorms last year.
(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2006)