A free trade zone in Fujian province will help attract further investment from Taiwan and boost sectors such as communication, transportation and tourism.
According to a provincial government official, the FTZ, which was approved in December by the State Council, will start on April 21 and include the cities of Xiamen and Fuzhou, and the county of Pingtan.
The zone will allow more investment from Taiwan into industries such as communication, transportation and tourism, said Zheng Shanjie, vice-governor of Fujian, at a news conference in Beijing on April 20.
Within the blueprint of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a comprehensive cross-Straits economic pact signed in 2010, investment thresholds will be lowered to the Taiwanese business community.
“Equity ratio restrictions will be loosened for Taiwan-funded companies in certain sectors and (they) will be allowed to engage in more business fields,” Zheng said. “The Fujian FTZ will help the province retain its pioneering role in cross-Straits financial cooperation by facilitating business exchanges in terms of cross-border renminbi trade settlement services.”
Further policies to allow Taiwanese business people to travel or stay in Fujian are also being put in place. “Policies concerning the recruitment of experts from Taiwan in the FTZ are being worked on,” Zheng said.
On April 16, two Taiwan-registered trucks carrying goods from the island were transferred aboard cargo ships and taken to Pingtan. This was the first time that vehicles carried goods from Taiwan to Fujian.
Wang Jinzu, an official with the administrative committee of the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, said private cars and coaches will also be allowed to go to Pingtan.
“With these innovative measures, more opportunities will be offered to cross-Straits people and companies settled in the FTZ, which will boost cross-Straits development,” Zheng said.