Shanxi hosts key exchange for Taiwan merchants and youth
Jin Xiangjun, governor of Shanxi, delivers a welcome speech to the Taiwan entrepreneurs and youth representatives visiting the province on Aug 29. [Photo by Li Zhaomin for China Daily]
Delegation from island province tour cities to seek out opportunities in business and culture
The North China province of Shanxi welcomed a large group of corporate visitors and youth representatives from Taiwan province in late August, to an event for business and cultural exchanges.
The event called the Shanxi Trip of Taiwan Merchants and Youth began in Taiyuan, the provincial capital of Shanxi, on Aug 28. Organizers said this was the largest-scale exchange event between Shanxi and Taiwan provinces in recent years. The trip's members were warmly welcomed by high-ranking officials in Shanxi as well as local businesspeople and residents.
The organizers added that this event covered multiple fields of cooperation, including culture, trade, investment, science, technology and education.
A welcoming ceremony was held at the Xiaohe International Convention Center in Taiyuan on Aug 29.
Song Tao, chief of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, delivered a welcome speech at the ceremony.
He said Shanxi province has played an important role in cross-Strait exchanges because of its strong cultural and commercial links with Taiwan.
Shanxi is regarded as one of the cradles of Chinese civilization and culture. It is said to be the birthplace of the Red Emperor, a legendary figure some 5,000 years ago, who is considered as one of the common ancestors of the Chinese people.
In the city of Gaoping, the hometown of the Red Emperor, there is a grand ceremony to pay homage to him every spring, which is attended by people from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as overseas Chinese.
Song said that CPC Central Committee's Taiwan Work Office and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council support people in Shanxi and Taiwan to strengthen their cultural and business exchanges. He hopes more Taiwan people, especially young entrepreneurs and professionals, can work, do business or live in Shanxi.
He added that both the central government and the Shanxi government will continue to improve policies toward Taiwan businesses, helping them benefit from the growth of the mainland and Shanxi as well.
At the welcoming ceremony, Jin Xiangjun, governor of Shanxi, introduced the recent development and business opportunities in Shanxi to the Taiwan representatives.
He said that Shanxi is promoting high-quality economic development by implementing a transformation strategy. It aims to upgrade traditional industries like coal mining toward cleaner and more efficient operations and foster emerging industries as new growth engines.
"We hope more Taiwan people work, study and start businesses in Shanxi," Jin said. "And we expect this tour can help our guests to better understand Shanxi and find opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation."
Lai Cheng-i, chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of Taiwan, said: "Shanxi is an ideal destination for investment considering its high-quality development in many sectors."
He cited sectors with great potential for cooperation, which include agriculture, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and advanced technologies.
Lai's comments were echoed by many representatives from Taiwan. Lin Chun-che is the chairman of a Taiwan-based medical company that has a number of branches on the Chinese mainland.
"Shanxi has a huge market and good business environment, which are the fundamentals for the success of investments," Lin said. He added that he will strengthen collaboration with Shanxi's partners in multiple fields that include hospital operations, medicine production and medical equipment, as well as research and development in technologies.
The medical industry, especially traditional Chinese medicine, is one of the strategic emerging sectors in Shanxi. Local statistics show that the province is host to more than 1,700 types of medical herbs that can be used to produce TCM products.
Li Honglan, executive vice-chairwoman of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland, proposed the integration of Taiwan's technological advantages and Shanxi's medical resources to cultivate a stronger medical industry in Shanxi.
At a seminar for exchanges between Taiwan and Shanxi entrepreneurs, Tang Zhiping, vice-governor of Shanxi, also expressed his expectation for deepened cooperation in the medical sector and other industries that have advantages for both partners.
"Shanxi will strive to create a top-class business environment for companies from Taiwan," Tang said.
The five-day event, which concluded on Sept 1, covered such cities as Taiyuan, Xinzhou, Shuozhou and Jinzhong.
Deng Weiqiang and Zhang Jufeng contributed to this story.