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Hubei ideal for business development: officials (update)

2012/05/08 21:14:52

Taipei, May 8 (CNA) Taiwanese investors should take advantage of Hubei Province's location in central China to gain greater access to other inland Chinese cities, Hubei Governor Wang Guosheng said Tuesday.

Wang, who arrived in Taiwan on Monday at the head of a 100-member delegation, said Hubei is well-positioned to facilitate more frequent economic exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

"Hubei is at the heart of Chinese territory, just about four hours by road from Wuhan and other major Chinese cities," Wang said, referring to the capital of Hubei.

Meanwhile, Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan said Taiwan and China should work more closely on industrial cooperation as both countries share the same vision for economic development.

The two sides could join hands in developing fine agriculture, tourism and green technology amid more frequent cross-strait exchanges, Lien said.

He noted that Taiwan and China have outlined similar expansion plans for such industries on their policy platforms, known as the "Golden Decade" and the "Twelfth Five-Year Economic Plan," respectively.

"There is great opportunity for industrial partnerships since we share similar visions in many areas," Lien said.

Lien said he expects cross-strait cooperation on investment protection and further tariff concessions to take effect soon, as follow-up negotiations to the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) are likely to be held by the end of June.

He was referring to the eighth round of high-level talks between Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

On cooperation between Taiwan and Hubei Province, Lien said he hopes to see the free individual travel (FIT) program extended to Hubei residents.

It means Wuhan would be included in the program that allows Chinese nationals to travel to Taiwan without being part of a tour group or accompanied by a tour guide, he noted.

Currently, residents of Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu are allowed to make independent trips to Taiwan.

Residents of Jinan, Xian, Fuzhou and Shenzhen will also be included in the program by the end of this year.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)