China's Ministry of Agriculture and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council have approved a business development zone for Taiwan farmer investors in eastern Fujian Province.
"Through the zone, Taiwan farmers will have then opportunity to carry out cross-Strait business initiation and development," Wang Jianwen, vice director of the zone's administration commission, said Sunday.
Located at the Changqiao Agricultural Technique Cooperation Center, the zone will cover 10,000 mu (666.7 hectares), including an industrial base for storage and processing of farming produce, two centers featuring technical services and research, as well as accommodation and a field for ecological agriculture trials.
Construction of the zone in Zhangpu County started in January last year and will be completed in two years.
More than 20 delegations have visited the zone and 12 have set up businesses with an investment of US$15 million. Their projects include flower and orchard cultivations, and food processing.
The director of Taiwan Affairs Office of Fujian urged local governments in the province to promote exchanges and cooperation with investors in a bid to improve cross-Strait economic development.
The mainland's 15 new beneficial policies for promoting economic and trade relations were announced Saturday at the closing ceremony of the two-day Cross-Strait Economic and Trade Forum.
The package comprises three sets of policies directly stipulated by the State Council and 12 formulated by central government departments.
The State Council policies included adding four new varieties to an import list of Taiwan-grown fruits, bringing the total to 22; adopting a zero-tax on imports of 11 varieties of vegetables; increasing imports of aquatic products, with a zero-tax on some; and allowing Taiwan fishing boats to enjoy equality with mainland boats on sales of their catches.
Under the other new policies, Taiwan investors will be allowed to set up joint venture hospitals on the mainland with local partners, while retaining as much as 70 percent of the stake.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2006)