Taiwan to hold 20 trade fairs in China in the next three years
Taipei is planning to hold at least 20 trade fairs in China in the next three years, an official said Monday, as Beijing requested a greater opening of the island's market to Chinese companies , DPA reported
The move was the latest sign of increased cooperation between Taiwan and the mainland, who have had tense relations since splitting in 1949 after a civil war.
"There are five Taiwan trade fairs in China this year and maybe 10 next year," Wang Chih-kang, chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), said at a forum on cross-Strait trade.
"We have already scheduled trade fairs for 2012," he added, citing numerous invitations from Chinese provinces eager to host the events.
At the forum, China's Vice Commerce Minister Chen Jian urged Taiwan to further open trade contacts with the mainland.
Around 80,000 Taiwan companies have opened businesses in China, he said, representing an investment of around 51 billion US dollars.
"But only 46 Chinese enterprises have been allowed to invest in Taiwan, with a combined investment of 126 million US dollars," he said.
He reminded his audience that China is Taiwan's biggest export market.
"In the past four years, cross-Strait trade has surpassed 100 billion US dollars each year and is expected to hit 140 billion US dollars this year," he said.
China and Taiwan in June signed a semi-free trade agreement in June, marking a watershed in trade and diplomatic relations.
Ties between the former enemies have been improving since Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008 and adopted a policy to engage China.