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Businessmen plan to build cross-strait agrobiz park in Shandong town

2011/08/19 19:42:48

Beijing, Aug. 19 (CNA) Experts and entrepreneurs from both sides of the Taiwan Strait are pooling their resources to build a modern 200-square-kilometer agribusiness park in Shandong province in China, a Taiwan expert said Friday.

Huang Shao-peng, president of the Cross-Strait Agriculture and Technology Standardization Association, said his association aims to make the proposed park a hub for "high-end agricultural products and also a tourist attraction."

The "cross-strait international agricultural technology park," as it will be called, will host hundreds of wineries and hot spring resorts, vegetable and fruit farms, and dairy farms -- all of which hopefully will become "national models" within their respective industries, he said.

Huang said it will be the "Chinese Napa" project, referring to the fact the red wines will be one of the featured products. Cooperation pacts have been signed with farmers in California's Napa Valley, he said.

The park will be a center for the standardization of rules and regulations relating to agro-products and ultimately a trading center for agricultural produce futures, he said.

"Why should the farm produce futures market be dominated by Westerners when the markets in China and elsewhere in Asia are growing and going high-end?" he asked.

Besides serving as biotech, warehouse and transportation hub, the park will also function as an education center for organic farming, ecotourism and environmental protection, Huang said.

The park's designated site, in Gejia township of Wendeng City in Shandong province, is an ideal location for showcasing China's modern agriculture, according to the Taiwan expert who has been dedicated for many years to realizing the project.

The town, which had a population of 60,000, expects to accommodate 20,000 visitors -- "most of them wealthy consumers" -- when its various business projects become operational, he said.

The park project is likely to succeed because a high-end agricultural market relies on a high-tech farming industry, which enables farmers to increase their incomes, he said.

Furthermore, he said, higher income among farmers boosts the capital invested in modernizing agriculture, during which process the issues of food safety, balanced output and quality of farm produce can be better addressed.

To achieve these goals, Huang said, he has won the support of not only private-sector experts and businesspeople, but also government agencies responsible for agriculture, tourism and the environment.

A Shenzhen-based listed company in the farm business has agreed to chip in money for the project, while Huawei, a Chinese business group, has started construction of a corporate resort and training center in the park, he said.

(By S.C. Chang)
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