Sat, Jan 10, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Financial issues to take priority in coming talks

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA , GUANGZHOU, CHINA

Taiwan and China have agreed to prioritize financial issues in their next round of negotiations, Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) said yesterday.

Chiang said he and his Chinese counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), set financial issues as the top priority because of the pressing needs of Taiwanese businessmen in China.

The SEF chairman, in Guangzhou to gain a better understanding of the operations of Taiwanese-­invested firms there, said difficulties in getting financing and excessive taxes and fees were the biggest obstacles they have faced.

While some of the tax issues have been resolved after local Chinese governments reduced or eliminated some of the taxes, a lack of access to loans remained a problem, Chiang said.

“This thorny issue is the key to the survival of China-based Taiwanese businessmen,” he said.

Allowing Taiwan-­headquartered banks to open branches in China would solve the problem at its roots, and therefore, Chiang said, the two sides have decided to list it as the priority issue in their coming round of talks.

Chiang urged Taiwanese businessmen in China to upgrade or diversify their operations, whether through mergers, branding or overseas marketing, to ensure sustainable growth.

He said many of them had already acknowledged the need to overhaul their businesses and asked him for technical and professional support.

As a result, he will appeal to semi-official agencies, such as the China Production Center, the Industrial Technology Research Institute and the Institute for Information Industry, to provide assistance.

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