Mainland companies can cooperate with their Taiwanese counterparts on setting standards and building brands to improve their status in the global production network, a mainland commerce official said Tuesday. Chen Xing, director of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs under the Chinese Commerce Ministry, made the remarks while elaborating on the benefits of a cross-Strait service trade agreement that was signed last week. According to the agreement, the Chinese mainland will open 80 service sectors to Taiwan, while Taiwan will open 64 sectors to the mainland. It is one of several follow-up agreements to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), a comprehensive cross-Strait economic pact signed in 2010. Chen said the mainland and Taiwan together boast a large-scale market with a sizable population. If the two sides jointly develop an industrial standard, it is possible that it could become an international standard. She said that as the mainland moves to upgrade its economy, the two sides can also strengthen exchanges in wholesaling and retailing, chain operations, logistics, finance, telecommunications and healthcare since the deal has been signed. Figures from the Commerce Ministry show that the service output accounted for about 44.6 percent of the Chinese mainland\'s GDP in 2012. The proportion is expanding steadily and is expected to surpass that of the industrial and construction sector for the first time this year. The mainland is eyeing the advantages of Taiwan\'s service sector, which has accounted for 68 percent of the island\'s GDP. Chen said Taiwanese companies, both big and small, can also benefit from mainland\'s fast-growing service market. For sectors like catering and hairdressing, Taiwanese companies have long had a presence in the mainland, even though they are not officially listed in the agreement, she said. The latest figures from the Commerce Ministry show that two-way trade is continuing to boom despite weak global economic momentum. The mainland\'s exports to Taiwan rose 34.5 percent year on year in the first five months, well above the country\'s overall export growth of 13.5 percent. Its imports from Taiwan soared 43.4 percent in the same period, far surpassing the 8.2-percent increase it logged for all imports, according to figures from the ministry.