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Q&A with PCPZ senior official You Mengjun (Part II)

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2014-01-24

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Q: The provincial annual work report suggested that Pingtan should attract investment from Taiwan and countries around the world, and enhance cooperation with Taiwan's free economic zones. How does Pingtan intend to do that?

A: First, we will rely on the cross-Straits ferries to consolidate Pingtan's reputation as a main cross-Straits channel and promote the normalization of cross-Straits cargo transportation and mail delivery. Second, we will continue to build a business environment open to Taiwan. Last May, Pingtan opened a petty trade market to Taiwan and, in October, we held an exhibition featuring Taiwan commodities which attracted more than 300 Taiwan enterprises along with 110,000 participants, generating revenue of 14.5 million yuan ($2.4 million) and resulting in signed deals worth 1.04 billion yuan. We will build on that momentum and strive to make improvements this year.

We have another big project on the way – the Taiwan Pioneer Park – which will benefit from our experience, and boast the most favorable policies and the best location. The construction of the park will be divided into two stages. It will strive to start operation by the end of this year - after completion of the Headquarters for Enterprises in the Jinjing Bay district. We will then build another branch park in Xingfuyang district. In the next three to five years, we will transform the park into an ideal startup base for Taiwan compatriots - especially for young entrepreneurs .

Additionally, we plan to build a Taiwan community managed autonomously by Taiwan compatriots - and it will also include the right to set their own policies on education, healthcare, social insurance and employment - in order to help them really feel at home.

Q: Following the establishment of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Xiamen city is moving to build a free trade park and Pingtan is going for a free trade port. What are Pingtan's advantages in this field? And what changes can the free trade port bring to Pingtan?

A: The central government has implemented a strategy of accelerating construction of free trade zones - with the aim of creating a world-class free trade zone network. This is a significant strategic move which will definitely bring Pingtan new opportunities.

Pingtan– the Chinese mainland's first comprehensive pilot zone open to Taiwan - boasts ideal conditions for developing a free trade zone. First – it has a geographical advantage, as Pingtan is the closest spot to Taiwan on the Chinese mainland. Pingtan – in the Taiwan Strait - has excellent conditions concerning its harbors and coastlines which take the confusion out of international logistics. Second – the island county also enjoys various favorable policies from the central government.

Specifically - it boasts 28 policies in areas such as trade, investment, personnel exchanges, financial services, tourism, shipping and employment. These are good conditions for establishing a free trade port. The third advantage is the customs supervision. Pingtan is surrounded by the sea on all sides – which is very convenient for customs supervision and management. We have also set up a special system with two customs checkpoints, which gives us a basic foundation to copy the model of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The Fujian government submitted applications to the State Council for authorization to build a free trade port, and we are in touch with the central authorities on this matter .

The creation of a free trade port or free trade zone will connect Pingtan to the rest of the world and will attract all sorts of production companies from across the Straits and abroad. It will also increase Pingtan's exchanges with Taiwan's free trade zone, build a cross-Straits economically cooperative pilot zone and a new platform for Pingtan and Taiwan to engage in global market competition. And it will play a bigger role in realizing a "Common Homeland" and boost cross-Straits relations.

Edited by Chen Zhilin and Niva Whyman