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Chinese mainland, Taiwan began trade office exchange

TAIPEI, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan and the Chinese mainland have begun to accept applications from economic agencies for the establishment of trade offices, according to Taiwanese authorities in charge of economic affairs.

Given the complexity of the issue, only one agency from each side will be permitted to set up offices at first, Emile Chang, a spokesman from the island's economic authority, said on Wednesday.

The establishment of the trade offices is part of follow-up negotiations for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a wide-ranging economic pact designed to facilitate trade between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Emile Chang said he believes the cross-Strait trade offices, designed to offer investment and trade services for business people, will strengthen two-way economic exchanges and cooperation.

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council will likely be the first Taiwanese agency to set up a trade office on the Chinese mainland.

The council has applied to build offices in Shanghai and Beijing. It also plans to eventually build offices in the mainland cities of Guangzhou, Chengdu, Qingdao and Dalian.