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Experts urge financial cooperation between mainland, Taiwan
Updated: 2008-11-25 23:17

BEIJING - Financial experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan on Tuesday called for upgrading financial cooperation between the two sides to cope with global financial turmoil.

Xiang Junbo, vice president of the mainland-based China Society for Finance and Banking, said the two sides should work together to cope with the current crisis, as both sides have significant foreign exchange reserves and are closely linked in economic sectors.

He called for a rise in the level of cooperation and an expansion of cooperation sectors.

The two sides have made substantial progress in cooperation on currency exchange, bank remittance services, market opening, listing, and financial academic exchange, but these are far from enough, Xiang told more than 400 bankers and financial experts attending a cross-straits financial conference in Beijing.

Susan Chang, head of the Taiwan delegation and board chairman of Taiwan Financial Holdings Company, said the exchange of ideas would help make breakthroughs in financial cooperation between the two sides.

Chinese mainland is Taiwan's biggest trading partner, accounting for more than 20 percent of the island's total external trade last year.

More than 75,000 Taiwan-funded enterprises have invested in the Chinese mainland over the past 20 years, and investment from Taiwan may have exceeded US$45 billion if indirect capital movements are included, according to official statistics.

More than 4.8 million people shuttle between the two sides each year and bilateral trade rose to more than US$120 billion in 2007.

The Chinese mainland now has over US$1.9 trillion foreign reserves, and Taiwan has around US$280 billion.