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Cross-strait experts call for cooperation at free trade zone forum
Central News Agency
2014-08-26 10:12 PM
Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) Experts from Taiwan and China agreed Tuesday at a forum in Taipei that the two sides should cooperate more closely in economic and trade liberalization to address global challenges. Zhang Youwen, director of the Institute of World Economy at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the forum on free trade zones that Taiwan and China "still have a lot of things to do" in terms of boosting investment, and the tasks are linked closely to trade in services. This makes cross-strait collaboration on services more urgent, he said. Ed Liu, president of Taiwan's government-invested Hua Nan Financial Holding Co., expressed concerns that the local financial sector could be adversely affected if China's free trade zones are implemented across its territory. To minimize the potential impact, Liu said, the financial sectors across the Taiwan Strait should speed up the joint pursuit of opening up. Noting that China is forecast to become the world's biggest consumer market by 2020 and then the world's biggest service market, Qin Shuo, vice president of Shanghai Media Group and chief editor of China Business News, said that means anyone standing downwind of the powerful force "will take flight." According to Taiwan's National Development Council, the government's free economic pilot zones under development will serve as test beds for regulatory loosening that will facilitate the movement of personnel, goods and technology. A government-drafted bill to establish a legal basis for the zones is still awaiting review in the Legislature. China, meanwhile, set up its first free trade area in Shanghai in September last year. The government there decided in January to approve another 12 free trade zones, including one each in Tianjin and Guangdong that could launch in about a year. (By Chou Yi-ling and Jeffrey Wu)
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