Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 12 News List

SEF chair heads to China to meet with businesspeople

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) will head to China today to meet with Taiwanese businesspeople operating there, with the aim of helping them cope with the effects of the global economic downturn, an SEF statement released yesterday said.

Chiang is scheduled to call on Taiwanese investors in Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou and Nanjing as the head of a 20-member delegation before heading home on Saturday, the statement said.

While in China, he will visit factories run by Taiwanese companies to get a first-hand understanding of their operations.

The statement said many China-based Taiwanese businessmen, who are experiencing extreme difficulties because of the global financial crisis, had asked the SEF to seek preferential treatment on their behalf from the Chinese authorities.

Chiang said in the statement that the Taiwanese businesspeople were seeking concessions such as business tax breaks and higher export tax rebates.

They also thought that the central and local governments in China could help with the restructuring or upgrade of Taiwanese companies there, expand China’s market access for such companies and allow Taiwanese firms to invest in China’s infrastructure projects aimed at stimulating domestic demand, he said.

The SEF, as the Taiwanese government authorized semi-official body in charge of handling technical and business matters with China in the absence of official relations, is duty-bound to negotiate such issues with its Chinese counterpart — the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), Chiang said.

Touching on China’s proposal to grant credit to Taiwanese enterprises, Chiang said he hoped Chinese banking institutions would increase their loan and credit services to a maximum of 130 billion yuan (US$19 billion) for China-based Taiwanese firms over the next three years in line with a plan announced last month by Wang Yi (王毅), director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council.

A series of measures launched by the Chinese government to support small and medium-sized enterprises should also apply to China-based Taiwanese companies, Chiang said.

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