Chinese academics and incoming government officials at a seminar yesterday urged President-elect Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration to take into account changing global trends and cross-strait economic interdependence when it comes to deciding business policies toward China.
The seminar, held to examine the issues Taiwanese businessmen will face when it comes to dealing with the incoming government, was organized by the Economics Department at National Taiwan University.
"Review of current cross-strait business policies must go beyond simple consideration of direct links with China," said Yen Wan-ching (
Yen added that his views were his own and not that of the incoming government.
Shih Chi-ping (
But Shih added that future development would rely on further integration with China's market and the proper utilization of resources and talent there.
That would would require relaxing current business policies toward China, Shih said.
SEF is a quasi-official organization empowered by the government to handle Taiwan-China relations.
Meanwhile, experts at the meeting were pessimistic as to whether Taiwan could compete with Hong Kong and Singapore, which are already major financial hubs in the region.
The government was also urged to allow local banks to set up operations in China to aide Taiwanese businesses based there.
"Many Taiwanese businessmen in China have reported problems in obtaining loans," said Lin Tzu-chia (
According to Lin, Taiwanese businessmen in China largely finance their operations via financial institutions in Hong Kong.
Lin noted that the offshore financing business in Taiwan has grown from US$100 million to US$1 billion a day -- a lucrative market if Taiwanese banks could crack it. There are an estimated 40,000 Taiwanese investors in China.
Lin suggested that Taiwanese banks could first be allowed into southeastern Chinese cities, where a good number of Taiwanese businessmen congregate.
Liberalization of bank rules could eventually allow local banks to do their business in renminbi after taking a few years to grow familiar with China's banking market, Lin added.
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