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Taiwan delegation supports communication
By Song Wenwei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-03 07:23

SUZHOU, JIANGSU PROVINCE: Grass root exchange and communication between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang is helpful to the mutual understanding of the people across the Taiwan Straits and the promotion of economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan.

Delegates voiced this opinion unanimously on Friday at a meeting jointly held by Suzhou Committee of the Communist Party of China and the visiting Kuomintang (KMT) Hsinchu City Committee, Taiwan.

The KMT delegation started their five-day visit to Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province on August 30.

This is part of a series of activities initiated by the top leaders of Communist Party of China (CPC) and KMT when Lian Chan, former KMT chairman, visited the mainland in late April this year, a breakthrough in the relationship between the two parties after no contact for about 50 years.

"Seeing is believing. We are happy to see that Taiwan businessmen and their families are working and living happily here," said Chang Yihwa, chairman of KMT Hsinchu City Committee, after a tour of some Taiwan enterprises in Suzhou.

After China started the opening-up policy in the late 1970's, Suzhou became a magnet for Taiwan enterprises owing to its favourable geographical location and good economic environment.

In 1988 the first Taiwan enterprise came to invest in Suzhou, and now there are more than 6,000 Taiwan enterprises in the city, accounting for one third of the total number in Jiangsu. The number of Taiwan people resident is 60,000.

Since 1988, Taiwan investment has maintained a yearly growth rate of over 10 per cent. Its total investment reached US$43.8 billion last year.

Suzhou-based Taiwan enterprises cover sectors including electronics, IT, machinery and biomedicine, as well as firms in tertiary industries.

"Many Taiwan entrepreneurs told me the reason they have come to invest in Suzhou is that the local government and related departments have given meticulous attention to their needs and provided a high quality service," said Chang.

The two cities have much in common. For example, Hsinchu Science Park is the biggest and best in Taiwan, while Suzhou boasts the China-Singapore Industrial Park, one of the best on the mainland.

"The Taiwan enterprises have also contributed to the economic development of Suzhou with their big investment in high-tech industries and creation of job opportunities for the local people;" said Wang Zhiming, deputy chief of Suzhou Foreign Trade and Economy Bureau.

"I am very much impressed by the efficiency of the administrative staff in both Suzhou New District (SND) and China-Singapore Industrial Park (CSIP), who always do their best to help Taiwan entrepreneurs who want to develop their businesses here," said Wu Shuchien, president of Industrial Society of Hsinchu City.

A large number of Taiwan companies are concentrated in Suzhou New District and China-Singapore Industrial Park, most of them high-tech and environmentally friendly ones.

(China Daily 09/03/2005 page2)

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