A delegation of Chinese businesspeople yesterday said they were interested in expanding their businesses to Taiwan and hoped that more sectors could be opened up with regulations relaxed to pave the way for closer trade ties.
“We are willing to work with Taiwanese companies ... We already have a target partner,” said Simon Chen (陳志列), chairman of Shenzhen-based and Hong Kong-listed Evoc Group (研祥智能), China’s largest industrial computing manufacturer.
Chen, 46, elected CCTV Economic Figure of the Year for 2007, said Taiwanese firms are very competitive in terms of design and sample production for tech products — one of the areas that Evoc hopes to take advantage of.
He said the sluggish economic climate offers an opportune timing for cross-strait companies to strengthen partnerships and combine their strengths to make inroads into international markets.
Shanghai Wind Information Co (Wind資訊), China’s largest financial information service provider, is also looking to set up offices in Taiwan.
With financial interaction between the two sides deepening, Shanghai Wind intends to move into Taiwan to offer real-time information to clients in China, chairman Lu Feng (陸風) said .
Evoc and Shanghai Wind are among the 10-plus Chinese companies — with businesses including high-tech, banking and real estate — that are visiting Taiwan to inspect the investment environment under a trip organized by the Chinese National Federation of Industries (全國工業總會) and HSBC.
Fan Liang-tung (范良棟), executive secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission, who attended the briefing yesterday, said the government welcomes Chinese parties to invest in sectors that are open to China.
In June, Taiwan opened 192 sectors in the manufacturing, services and public construction services to Chinese investors. But telecom, financial and insurance services, among others, remain closed to Chinese investment.
As of Nov. 15, 15 investment projects worth NT$189 million (US$5.7 million) from China were approved, with investment centered in the software, digital content and civil aviation sectors, the ministry’s data showed. Ten more projects are pending approval, Fan said.
The delegation, meanwhile, asked for more sectors to be opened and hoped for an easing of restrictions on posting staff to Taiwan.
“We don’t intend to hold controlling stakes in Taiwan’s firms. Even a partnership would create a win-win situation for both,” Chen said.
Fan said a two-month visa will be granted for those coming to assess the investment market in Taiwan, and their total stay couldn’t go beyond four months in the same year. China’s managerial staff posted in Taiwan will be given one-year visas.
“This is the consensus that both sides agreed on during April’s high-level cross-strait talks,” Fan said. “Without an easy visa mechanism, it would affect foreign investors’ willingness to come to Taiwan.”