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Mainland, Taiwan reach consensus on boosting mainland investment in Taiwan

THE Chinese mainland and Taiwan reached a consensus today to boost investment by mainland companies in the island.

During today's talks, the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) agreed to "actively encourage and promote mainland companies to conduct inspections and invest on the island."

The two negotiating bodies hoped relevant authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to set up proper communication mechanisms to boost mainland investment in Taiwan.

Both the negotiating bodies believed the hard-won cross-straits relations at present have created a favorable environment for direct and two-way investments across the straits, especially when the international financial crisis is exerting serious negative impacts on both of the two economies.

"Taiwan sincerely welcomes mainland companies to invest on the island," the SEF said in a statement released after the talks this morning. Taiwan authorities would "issue relevant regulations and measures as soon as possible and gradually expand the sectors open for investment," it said.

The ARATS said the mainland would actively support companies to invest in Taiwan, and encourage them to conduct reviews on the island for investment research.

Direct transport, postal service and trade was totally cut off between the two sides since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949.

On January 1, 1979, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, or the top legislature, called for an early realization of the three direct cross-Straits links on transport, mail and trade in its "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan." After 1979, the mainland allowed Taiwan products to enter at lower tax rates or tax-exempt.

In July 1988, the State Council, or the Cabinet, issued regulations encouraging Taiwan compatriots to invest on the mainland.

The mainland has been the largest trading partner of Taiwan since 2003, with annual trading volume surpassing US$100 billion.

Chinese mainland's top negotiator on cross-straits relations Chen Yunlin held talks here with his Taiwan counterpart Chiang Pin-kung this morning in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.

This was the third round of talks between them in less than a year.


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