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April 7, 2010

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Han reveals cash-swap deal for Taiwan's visitors to Expo

THE Bank of Communications will become the first financial institution to start two-way money conversions between the yuan and New Taiwan dollars in Shanghai.

The initiative, to be introduced before May 1, would enhance travel convenience for Taiwan visitors to the Shanghai World Expo, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said in Taipei yesterday.

"On behalf of the 20 million people of Shanghai, we are here to attend a series of events to enhance cooperation between Shanghai and Taipei, Shanghai and Taiwan, and also, very importantly, to introduce and promote the World Expo," Han said after landing at Songshan Airport about 11am for a four-day visit.

"We are extending the warmest welcome to Taiwan people to come and visit the Expo in Shanghai."

Han made the yuan-New Taiwan dollar announcement later when attending the Shanghai-Taipei Forum.

He also said the Shanghai government would support and enhance the progress for the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank to launch a representative office in Taiwan "as soon as possible."

The same drive was also being applied on launching a direct flight link between Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport and Songshan Airport, he told the forum.

The forum has been held annually since May, 2000, becoming a vital bridge for the two cities to enhance communication and cooperation.

"Communication between the two cities has now reached new heights," Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said during his keynote speech at the forum.

"We should both spare no effort in grasping opportunities to create a better future together."

Hau said he would lead a large cultural-exchange and performance team to Shanghai to attend the Expo's Taiwan Week in June.

The Shanghai delegation has already achieved results in seeking further cooperation and business deals between the two cities.

Seventeen Shanghai government departments and companies yesterday signed 28 cooperation project frameworks yesterday with Taiwan companies and authorities.

Shanghai and Taipei also signed yesterday four memorandums on future liaison in the fields of culture, tourism and high-tech park developments and environmental protection.

Han took a short break from the forum to visit the century-old Taipei Zhongshan Girls' High School, one of the island most respected institutions of learning.

On behalf of the Shanghai government, Han also sent 1,100 World Expo tickets to 11 Taipei middle schools, inviting students to visit Shanghai during their upcoming summer vacation.

Late yesterday, Han met Lien Chan, the honorary chairman of the Kuomintang party.

Han is also looking forward to some everyday experiences.

He is scheduled to visit the famous Taipei night market and to travel on the city's subway system.


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