Over 100 Taiwanese firms stationed in Shanghai free trade zone
Central News Agency
2014-07-26 12:15 PM
Shanghai, July 26 (CNA) As of the end of June, more than 100 Taiwanese companies have stationed themselves in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, according to the statistics compiled by the Shanghai Municipal Government. Citing the statistics, Yeh Hui-te, director of the Shanghai Taiwan Investors Association, said a total of 114 Taiwanese investors have launched operations in the newly set up Shanghai free trade zone as of the end of June, and they have a combined capital size of more than US$203 million. He said the companies were aiming to take advantage of a preferential treatment provided to investors in the trade zone. China opened the Shanghai free trade zone in September 2013 as a model for future market opening reforms. Several cities and provinces in China, such as Tianjin and Guangdong, have lobbied Chinese authorities to issue a green light for them to set up such a free trade zone. There were originally 190 sectors in which foreign investors faced restrictions, but that was reduced to 139 on July 1, when some barriers on investment in the financial services and real estate sectors, among others, were lifted. Yeh said that as it's been almost a year since the Shanghai free trade zone kicked off operations, more and more foreign investors have gained better knowledge of the trade zone's advantage in conducting business. For example, Yeh said, importers of foreign made medical equipment in the free trade zone are eligible to enjoy a streamlined process without unnecessary hassles, while trading companies there are allowed to take the delivery of their foreign purchases without completing tariff payments in advance. Yeh made the comments at the opening ceremony of Cathay United Bank's outlet in the free trade zone on Friday. The outlet is the sub-branch of the bank's Shanghai branch. The sub-branch in the free trade zone has the same business scope as the Shanghai branch, but it will not face any limits on lending to finance cross-border trade activity conducted inside the zone and will be allowed to freely exchange Chinese yuan and foreign currencies. Yeh said that in addition to Cathay United Bank, a banking arm of Cathay Financial Holding Co., First Commercial Bank is also preparing to make a presence in the zone. With more than 100 Taiwanese firms operating in the free trade zone, Taiwan's banking sector has to follow suit to provide sufficient funding for Taiwanese companies' expansion, Yeh said. According to the Shanghai Municipal Government, Taiwanese financial institutions have set up about 40 outlets in the city as of the end of June. (By Eva Feng and Frances Huang)
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