XIAMEN -- In three newly built plants of a Taiwan-funded industrial park, workers are busy testing the equipment. Before long, their products will enter gyms and fitness centers on the Chinese mainland.
Xiamen Cowell Industrial Ltd., a fitness equipment manufacturer located in Xiamen, a coastal city in eastern Fujian province, identified the business opportunity brought by the mainland's growing sports and fitness sector, and made a shift to the mainland market last year.
"The mainland market is the largest in the world, and we hope to seize more opportunities for high-quality development," said Shawn Lee, president of the enterprise.
The three new plants, with an investment of 200 million yuan (about $31.4 million), will be put into trial operation in January 2022. "They are expected to raise the production capacity by 30 percent," said Lee.
Sports and fitness have become increasingly popular thanks to the Healthy China Initiative. The company's sales volume on the mainland, Lee said, has increased by 50 percent year on year in 2021.
He plans to invest another 150 million yuan to further tap the mainland market.
Though affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent downward pressure on the global economy, many Taiwan-funded enterprises are still confident in the mainland market and believe their future lies there.
Runner Group, a Taiwan-funded home furnishing company that went public on the mainland in 2020, is also expanding its business on the other side of the Taiwan Strait, focusing on the "silver-hair economy."
"The silver-hair economy is currently developing with vigor and vitality, unleashing great potential for the integration of home furnishing with elderly care in the future," said Chen Tai-hua, CEO of the company.
China has released a guideline for further implementing its national strategy to address population aging, outlining a range of measures to meet the needs of the elderly in a coordinated manner, including improving elderly care services at home and in communities.
"The opportunities and dividends outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) create a broader space for our development on the mainland," Chen added, predicting that by 2025 the mainland will grow to be the most important market for his company.
"In recent years, the mainland has seen vigorous development in such fields as artificial intelligence, biotechnology and fitness, all of which deserve in-depth investment from Taiwan-funded enterprises," said Wu Chia Ying, director of the Taiwan chamber of commerce in Xiamen.
"The mainland is always the best choice for Taiwan businesses and compatriots," Wu said.