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Fujian province should encourage investors from Taiwan to set up wholly owned hospitals as part of an effort to promote cross-Straits cooperation in the health sector, according to a proposal.
In the proposal to the ongoing annual session of the Fujian legislature, the Fujian committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League, one of the eight non-Communist parties on the mainland, said the province should open wider in terms of cross-Straits medical cooperation.
According to the proposal, growing demand for high-end medical services shows the huge potential of the mainland's medical services market.
Taiwan investors are allowed to set up wholly owned hospitals in Shanghai as well as Fujian, Jiangsu, Guangdong and Hainan provinces.
But most Taiwan-funded medical establishments on the mainland are joint ventures. Issues such as investment in hospital's apparatus and management are likely to cause disputes between the mainland and Taiwan investors, the proposal said.
"In that case, the establishment of wholly owned hospitals can avoid the problem," said Luo Shaming, vice-chairman of the party's Fujian committee. Luo suggested Fujian's Xiamen city and the Pingtan experimental development zone should serve as the pioneer to host wholly Taiwan-invested hospitals.
Shanghai Landseed International Hospital, the only totally Taiwan-invested hospital on the mainland, opened for business in Shanghai on June 26.
According to the Ministry of Health, by the end of 2011, 22 Taiwan-funded hospitals, all joint ventures, had started operation on the mainland.
Fujian's first hospital created from joint mainland and Taiwan investments, Xiamen Chang Gung Hospital, was established in 2008.
Fujian Governor Su Shulin said recently that deepening cross-Straits ties, an effort including strengthening medical cooperation, will remain high on the government's agenda over the next five years.
Chen Qiuli, deputy director of Fujian's health department, pledged this month to offer Taiwan investors preferential policies on things such as land for construction, tax and insurance.
Chen also said the department will simplify procedures and policies on Taiwan doctors' applying for a practicing certificate.
A political adviser in Shanghai called for incentives to attract Taiwan companies to set up their regional, or even global, headquarters in the city.
Liu Yan, a member of the city's political advisory body, said on Monday that financial incentives should be given to attract influential Taiwan companies, like Formosa Plastic Group and Far East Group.
Liu, also a member of the Shanghai committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League, said Shanghai should use its advantages as a financial center to lure more Taiwan banks, securities houses and insurance companies.
Authorities should roll out local regulations to protect Taiwan investors, offer them preferential tax policies and encourage Taiwan companies to list in the yuan-denominated A-share stock market, she said.
By the end of 2012, Shanghai had attracted investment from Taiwan of 29 billion yuan ($4.66 billion), which takes up 15 percent of the city's total inbound investment, Liu said.
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