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Grassroots forum to boost progress

THE Straits Forum is significant for the future development of mutual understanding between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Chu Li-lun, vice chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang Party, said yesterday in Xiamen City, Fujian Province.

The forum, which opened last night in Xiamen, is a grassroots exchange between the two sides, Chu said.

Chu said the exchanges between the public on both sides will play an important role in facilitating business and trade and joint efforts to cope with the global financial crisis.

He said Taiwan will be actively involved in the mainland project to develop an economic zone on the western side of the Taiwan Strait.

"Taiwan business people have long participated in the development of the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta," he said.

"We will also play an important role in developing the economy on the western side of the Taiwan Strait."

The forum, to run until Friday, features 18 activities including a conference, trade fair, cultural week, tourism forum and a seminar on traditional Chinese medicine. It will be co-hosted by the cities of Fujian province: Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Putian.

The Straits Forum expects more than 8,000 Taiwan guests, including mayors and magistrates of 25 Taiwan cities and counties as well as heads of the island's key trade organizations.

Chu, also magistrate of Taiwan's Taoyuan County, said his main purpose at the forum was to introduce a construction plan and preferential policies for investment in Taoyuan Aerotropolis to mainland business people.

"We cannot only tell European and American investors about it. We hope mainland businesses are also interested in the plan," he said.


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