to Taiwan investors not to change
Taiwan business people were assured
yesterday that the privileges they enjoyed on
the mainland will not be changed.
That was the message delivered
by officials attending yesterday's Taiwan Merchant
Investment Forum at the ongoing Sixth China
International Fair for Trade and Investment
(CIFIT) in Xiamen.
"We will protect the legal
rights of investors and make our overseas investment
policies coherent and stable,'' said Wang Liaoping,
director of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong
and Macao Affairs with the Ministry of Foreign
Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC).
He also called for more Taiwan
investors to take advantages of the mainland's
optimized business environment and raise their
According to the MOFTEC, a total
of 2,700 Taiwan-funded companies were set up
on the mainland in the first seven months of
this year, up 18 per cent on a year earlier.
Actual utilized investment from
Taiwan was US$2.1 billion, registering a year-on-year
growth of 28 per cent.
MOFTEC said that by the end of
July this year, a total of 53,500 Taiwan-funded
projects had been approved by the central government,
with contractual investment totalling US$60
Michael Cheng, a Taiwan businessman
in charge of a website company in Xiamen, was
delighted with his decision to invest on the
mainland in March.
"I am becoming more ambitious
owing to the enormous market on the mainland,''
said the 30-year-old businessman whose company
mainly provides services to the manufacturing
industry and imports and exports companies.
Hundreds of thousands of Taiwan
business people like Cheng are eying the mainland
market because of its great potential.
"The mainland is the best
place for us to expand our businesses,'' Cheng
The company has been operating
in Taipei for eight years and is now seeking
more business opportunities through co-operation
with mainland players.
The thriving mainland market
is so important to Taiwan's economy that it
has overtaken the United States as the largest
export market for the island.
Taiwan has become the mainland's
fourth largest trading partner.
Trade across the Straits last
year stood at US$32.3 billion.
In the first seven months of
this year, the figure topped US$23.5 billion,
up 33 per cent compared with the same period
"It is expected to reach
US$40 billion by the end of this year,'' Wang
Li Fei, professor of the Taiwan
Affairs Institute at Xiamen University, said:
"It shows that Taiwan's economy has closely
integrated with the mainland market.
"Hence, the 'three direct
links' are the imperative issue for cross-Straits
economic co-operation, which is vital for the
island's current and future economy.
should not become barriers in the way of the
trade between the two sides.''
Political relations between the
mainland and Taiwan, a barometer for trade relations
between the two sides, have long been sensitive.
Chen Shui-bian's remark of "one
country on each side'' on August 3 stirred up
trouble in cross-Straits relations.
"Chen's remark was not supported
by the majority of Taiwan people,'' said Chen
Chien-Nan, president of the Taiwan Merchant
Investment Association in Fuzhou.
He said it was very important
to maintain a stable economic partnership between
the mainland and Taiwan.
"I don't think Chen's advocates
will have any influence on Taiwan investors
who are eying the mainland market,'' said Chen.
"It is mutually beneficial
for the two sides to co-operate with each other
and it is good to see that economic co-operation
between the two sides is moving forward step
"I think worsening political
relations across the Straits will affect economic
ties, though it may have just a little effect,''
claimed Jason Huang, deputy secretary-general
of Taiwan Merchant Association in Shenzhen.
"However, the mainland will
remain one of the top destinations for investors
because of its huge market and optimized market
"The majority of Taiwan
people hope the cross-Straits relationship can
develop in a positive way, and they are eagerly
looking forward to realizing the 'three direct
links,' as these are imperative to cross-Straits
He added: "We need patience.''
With regard to Chen Shui-bian's
encouragement to business to invest more in
South Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore,
Huang said: "Investors go to the places
where they can gain profit and long-term development.''
Huang is also the general manager
of the Shenzhen branch of Taiwan-based China-Taiwan.com.
His first investment in the mainland was in
1992 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.
Statistics from Taiwan's economic
authorities revealed the number of Taiwan-invested
projects in the mainland reached 753 in the
first seven months of the year, up 10 per cent
on a year earlier. The total volume concerned
was US$1.94 billion, representing a growth of
20 per cent on an annual basis.
Most of the projects were in
the areas of electronics and machinery. Taiwan's
overseas investment (excluding the mainland)
dropped 34.6 per cent year on year to US$1.83
"In another development,
the restrictions placed on mainland products
by the Taiwan authorities have caused a great
trade deficit for the mainland,'' Wang said.
He said the trade deficit to
Taiwan was US$22 billion last year. The figure
for the past two decades has accumulated to
"The entry of both the mainland
and Taiwan to the WTO has laid the sound foundation
for further co-operation,'' Wang said.
free trade policies should be implemented fully.''
He said approximately 70 per
cent of mainland-made products can now be exported
to the island. "Regional co-operation is
an inevitable trend for us to follow and a freer
and fairer trade will benefit the people on
each side,'' said Hu Jingyan, director of the
Foreign Investment Department at MOFTEC.
"We are encouraging more
overseas investors to invest in China complying
with the Foreign Investment Directory issued
in April this year.''
The opening of service sectors
-- the logistics and service trade sectors in
particular -- has been promoted to attract more
Co-operation in high-tech industries
will also be a key factor in years to come,
achieves rapid development
of Zhejiang Province
Widening globalization and China's
entry to the World Trade Organization has enabled
Zhejiang Province in East China to experience
unprecedented fast growth.
The province attracted an increasing
amount of foreign investment in the first seven
months of this year, reaching US$8.6 billion.
More than 1,710 overseas-funded
enterprises were established in the province
The province's foreign trade
volume has continued to surge in the first seven
months this year, reaching US$21.6 billion --
up 18.7 per cent on the same period last year.
Situated on the eastern coast
of China and south of the Yangtze River Delta,
Zhejiang is becoming one of China's economic
The province's gross domestic
product (GDP) reached 670 billion yuan (US$80.7
billion) last year, up 10.5 per cent on the
previous year. Per capita GDP last year reached
14,700 yuan (US$1,771), ranking fourth in the
The per capita income of urban
residents in the province hit 10,465 yuan (US$1,260)
while those of farmers reached 4,582 yuan (US$552)
Its well-established infrastructure
-- a comprehensive highway, railway, air and
waterway network -- has attracted more overseas
A total of 54 of the Fortune
500 companies have established branch offices
or subsidiaries in Zhejiang.
The province has established
friendly relations with more than 75 countries
and regions, as well as provinces and cities
in more than 20 countries including the United
States, Japan, Germany, France and Republic
A pattern of opening up has been
formed throughout the province with major cities
such as Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou as the
Zhejiang warmly welcomes overseas
investors to tap its development potential,
especially in infrastructure construction such
as transportation, energy, water supply and
The province's agriculture sector has opened
wider to foreigners and it is keen to co-operate
with foreign investors in green food and organic
food production and introducing new and high
technology to improve agricultural production.