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Cooperation between Taiwan and Shanghai FTZ proposed at forum

Updated: 10 28 , 2013 08:37
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NANNING -- The Chinese mainland and Taiwan adopted 19 joint proposals at the Ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, including one encouraging the island's cooperation with the newly built Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

The proposal, announced by Kuomintang (KMT) vice chairman John Chiang, states that comprehensive cooperation should be conducted between a pilot free economic area in Taiwan and the Shanghai FTZ, as well as another three pilot economic areas in the eastern provinces of Fujian and Jiangsu.

The free economic zones established by the two sides should cooperate and learn from each other to achieve common development, according to the proposal.

The Shanghai FTZ, which began operating in late September, is a 28.78 square km district billed as a test site for deepening market-oriented reforms and boosting economic vitality.

Wu Poh-hsiung, KMT honorary chairman, said at his speech at the closing ceremony that it is a "delight" that the two sides have planned or established FTZs and pilot free economic areas, which demonstrate their determination to face up to the challenges brought by the economic integration of other regions.

"We anticipate that the mainland and Taiwan will also think over how to cooperate in this field so as to give us more power to create a prosperous future," he said.

Based on closer cross-Strait economic cooperation, the two sides should explore appropriate ways to keep pace with the Asia-Pacific regional economic integration, participants of the forum said.

The 19 proposals, which also cover cross-Strait cooperation in technology, finance, agriculture, education and tourism, have great meaning and feasibility, said Zhang Zhijun, the mainland's Taiwan affairs chief.

The proposals have reflected the urgency of cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in the face of fierce competition in the international economic and scientific fields, and will provide a useful reference for policymaking authorities of the two sides, Zhang said.

Zhang said that both sides should seize opportunities to extend cooperation in order to increase advantages in global economic, science and technology competition for better economic and social development across the Strait.

The forum, a key platform for communication between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, concluded Sunday in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

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