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Taiwan relaxes control over mainland investment

  TAIPEI, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Taiwan authority on Thursday approved to relax restrictions on investment in the mainland by investors. The move drew wide applause in Taiwan business circles.

  Under the new regulations beginning on Aug. 1, institutional investment will be 60 percent of a company's net value. Individuals are now allowed to invest as much as 5 million U.S. dollars, compared with the current 80 million NT dollars (2.63 million U.S. dollars).

  Currently, the limit is 40 percent for Taiwan companies with a net value of 5 billion NT dollars, 30 percent for those with a net value of 5 billion NT dollars to 10 billion NT dollars and 20 percent for those with a net value of over 10 billion NT dollars.

  For years, particularly in the eight-year rule of the Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan investors urged the Taiwan authority to loosen the investment restrictions.

  In interviews with Xinhua correspondents, many Taiwan entrepreneurs welcomed the authority's latest move to promote the cross-Strait economic relations. It would start up another wave of "mainland visits" by Taiwan investors, they held.

  Taiwan's stock market responded to the good news as many mainland-investing companies saw their share prices rise in Thursday trading.

  Over 160 Taiwan-listed companies are expected to benefit from the new policy taken by the Taiwan authority.

  "It comes slowly, but it is not late," said Prof. Wang Yong, director of the Peking University's Center for the Study of International Politics and Economy.

  The move to relax the restrictions by the Taiwan authority indicates the pragmatic spirits in handling cross-Strait issues, which is of great importance for promoting the peaceful development of the cross-Strait ties, he said.

  In related developments, the "economic construction committee" of Taiwan said on the same day it would loosen restrictions on 66 regulations concerning the cross-Strait economic and trade relations.