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Chinese mainland delegation on procurement spree in Taiwan

  TAIPEI, May 31 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland business delegation arrived in Taiwan Sunday to kick off a buying spree to expand trade ties and offset the effects of the global economic downturn.

  The group, organized by the Mainland Association for Cross-Strait Economic and Trade Exchanges, comprised about 80 representatives of 35 companies, including IT and home appliance giants Lenovo, Haier, Changhong and ZTE.

  The shopping list could include home appliances, machinery, textiles and foodstuffs manufactured on the island, said Li Shuilin, director of the association and delegation head.

  The mainland businesses would hold talks with Taiwan firms in Taipei and Kaohsiung to learn more about their products and market potential in the mainland, Li said.

  They would probably make some purchasing orders, although no exact plans had been announced, he added.

  The delegation, the first of its kind, was warmly received on the island amid the mainland's repeated calls for collaboration across the Taiwan Strait to cope with the international economic downturn.

  This marked a substantial step by the mainland to help boost investment in Taiwan and the purchase of Taiwan products, proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in April, Li said.

  The mainland announced last week that seven to nine procurement delegations to Taiwan would be organized from May to September to help develop the island economy during the global downturn.

  The China Video Industry Association would organize a visit of leading mainland television producers on Monday to hammer out a planned 2.2-billion-U.S.-dollar contract for TV parts produced in Taiwan.

  Also in June, tea merchants and fruit organizations would visit central and south Taiwan. In September, representatives of trading cooperatives from 11 provinces and cities, six industry associations and 13 agricultural products producers will visit the island.

  Mainland telecommunications companies, including China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, also plan purchasing visits the island.