Taiwan, Shanghai seek more FTZ cooperation

Updated: 2014-08-27 10:53


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TAIPEI - Taiwan and Shanghai should forge a win-win cooperation through sharing experience on free trade zones, participants at a cross-Straits forum in Taipei said Tuesday.

The China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which began operating last September, is a 28.78-square-km district billed as a test bed for deepening market-oriented reforms and boosting economic vitality.

Taiwan also launched the first phase of its free economic pilot zones (FEPZ) in 2013. However, the progress has been dragged down by the opposition's filibuster for legislation.

Taiwan, Shanghai seek more FTZ cooperation
Shanghai global goal a tough one
Taiwan, Shanghai seek more FTZ cooperation 
Despite the status quo of the island's FEPZ, officials and economists attending the forum all agreed that the two free trade zones should seek more cooperations to boost the economic developments of both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Ma Shaw-chang, deputy chairman of Straits Exchange Foundation, said the FTZ and the FEPZ shared similarities as they both focused on policy deregulation, institutional innovation and environment protection.

If the two zones can work together, both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan can gain competitive edges in the global market, with more opportunities for economic growth, said Jiang Liang, deputy chairman of Shanghai People's Political Consultative Committee.

"Taiwan business people have shown great enthusiasm and interest in the FTZ," said Zhu Min, deputy director of the zone.

According to official statistics, 131 Taiwan enterprises from sectors of cultural creativity, health care, finance and electronics, have been stationed in the FTZ, with total investment hitting $216 million.

In the future, the FTZ and the FEPZ can learn from each other, Zhu added. "The mainland can absorb Taiwan's experience in business management. Meanwhile, the two sides can facilitate free flows of factors of production in a number of sectors such as traditional Chinese medication, cultural creativity and finance."

Jiann-Chyuan Wang, senior researcher with the Taiwan-based Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, agreed with Zhu. "Close ties between the FTZ and the FEPZ will inject new momentum in Taiwan's economy, while Taiwan can give the mainland some insights in boosting its service sector and improving its business managing policies," Wang said.