China and Taiwan on Tuesday signed the long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
Aiming to establish a systematic mechanism for enhancing cross-Strait economic cooperation, the ECFA was agreed upon by the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).
The ECFA will formally take effect one day after both sides "complete due procedures and notify each other", the agreement said.
Under the 16-article agreement, the two sides agreed to "gradually reduce and remove trade and investment barriers and create a fair environment", Xinhua news agency reported.
The agreement also provides protection for cross-Strait investments to boost two-way capital flows.
The two sides agreed on the items to be included in the "early harvest programme" to benefit from the pact first with preferential duty cuts and treatment.
The "early harvest programme" will launch within six months of the ECFA taking effect, the agreement said.
The two countries will continue discussing agreements for commodity trade, service trade and investment for six months after the ECFA takes effect.
China and Taiwan will jointly set up a committee for cross-Strait economic cooperation to ensure ECFA agreements can be reached and to supervise the implementation of the ECFA.