Entrepreneurs must work together for new era of development, summit told
Entrepreneurs from both sides of the Taiwan Strait have united in an urgent plea to embrace the new era of development and foster stronger ties between Taiwan enterprises and the mainland market at a summit held in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Many of the 800 participants of the 2023 annual conference of the Summit for Entrepreneurs Across the Taiwan Strait, including members of the summit's council, entrepreneurs, experts and scholars from both sides, expressed hopes of enhancing the integration and development of industrial and supply chains across the Taiwan Strait and to drive forward economic growth in the region.
According to Guo Jinlong, president of the summit's council on the mainland, cross-Strait trade volume increased from $168 billion in 2012 to $319 billion last year, with accumulated actual investment from the island reaching $72 billion.
He said that the summit facilitates companies from Taiwan in sectors such as electronics, information technology and biopharmaceuticals to invest and expand production on the Chinese mainland.
It also promotes cross-Strait financial cooperation, facilitates Taiwan companies' listings on the mainland, and helps products from Taiwan get access to the mainland market.
Zheng Zhenqing, who works for Tsinghua University's Institute of Taiwan Studies, said that 10 provinces on the mainland have issued 624 policies for integrated development since 2018, which include industrial policies, social integration policies and public service policies.
"The number of projects from Taiwan that have been approved on the mainland has increased steadily in recent years," he said. "Entrepreneurs from Taiwan have shown great trust and high expectations for the mainland."
Gao Kung-lien, president of the Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Exchange Association, said that cross-Strait relations are crucial to Taiwan's economy and society.
"We hope that future economic cooperation between businesses on both sides could be strengthened and integrated," Gao said, underlining the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement as a very important link in cross-Strait relations. He said that the ECFA might face termination if cross-Strait relations do not improve, which will have a significant impact on Taiwan's economy.
Lai Cheng-yi, president of the Taiwan Business Association, said that Taiwan businessmen are well aware of the vast market and potential on the mainland.
"Despite the obstacles to cross-Strait exchanges imposed by the Democratic Progressive Party authorities, their impact on Taiwan investment on the mainland has been limited," he said.
"We can see that Taiwan's investment on the mainland continues to grow every year. My company, along with many other Taiwan businesses, will continue to invest and develop on the mainland."