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Cross-Strait entrepreneurs expect to deepen cooperation for common destiny

NANJING, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Hong Ing-Jen, owner of a Taiwanese food company, witnessed the great change in the mainland's investment markets when he first visited in 1992.

"I made up my mind to explore the mainland market for its unlimited cooperation capacity and the common destiny shared by both sides," said Hong, head of the GTH Business Corporation, at the 2013 Zijinshan Summit for Entrepreneurs across the Taiwan Strait in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Tuesday.

Hong said that more of his entrepreneur friends in Taiwan are now visiting the mainland for investment due to a more flexible investment environment, more favorable policies and the great potential of the mainland market.

Hong said that Taiwan enterprises have advanced technologies and well-known brands, but local markets are too small.

However, the mainland has incomparable advantages in resources and a big market, and the complementary strengths of the two sides lay a solid foundation for deepening cooperation.

"Many small- and medium-sized enterprises from Taiwan, like us, care very much about the favorable policies to be introduced in service industries, which will greatly influence the economy of the island," he said.

"As the upcoming third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee nears, we are paying great attention to the cross-Strait service trade agreement being put into effect, which is expected to provide more opportunities for small- and medium-sized companies as well as emerging industries in Taiwan," said Hong.

The business summit, first held in 2008, is dedicated to providing a platform for entrepreneurs for common development. This year marks the first "upgraded" annual meeting after the mainland and Taiwan each set up councils of the Zijinshan Summit.

A total of 24 exchange and cooperation memoranda and projects were signed by business leaders from across the Strait this year, and a proposal was issued calling for joint efforts for closer cooperation.

The proposal appealed for both sides to integrate resources, expand cooperative industries and create common markets in order to boost mutual prosperity.

At a sub-forum of the summit, pacts were signed to grant investment of more than 4.3 billion yuan (about 708 million U.S. dollars) to the mainland. At the closing ceremony of the summit, it was announced that the 2014 Zijinshan Summit will be held in Taipei in the second half of next year.

Paul Cheng-Hsiung Chiu, president of the Bank SinoPac, based in Taiwan, said that he is most focused on the mainland's financial reform, especially its interest rate liberalization, upon the upcoming third Plenary Session.

"I am visiting the Shanghai FTZ tomorrow, as its establishment is a very important step for the mainland's reform and development," said Chiu.

"Policies related to interest rate liberalization and convertible RMB capital accounts in the Shanghai FTZ have attracted much attention from businessmen in Taiwan," Chiu added.

George T.W. Chen, chairman of the Taiwan-based Capital Investment Development Corp. CAI Global Holdings Ltd., said that over years of sound economic development, the mainland and Taiwan have reached the height of cooperation and are now seeking new ways to carry out further collaboration.

At the summit's opening ceremony on Monday, Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, appealed to both sides of the Taiwan Strait to take the current opportunity and work for closer economic cooperation.

In June, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, called for more efforts to allow people from both sides to realize that the mainland and Taiwan share the same destiny during a meeting with visiting Honorary Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party Wu Poh-Hsiung.

Xi called for both sides to facilitate efforts to expand fields of cooperation and improve the quality of cooperation.

In 2013, the mainland and Taiwan held a series of forums and activities to further cross-Strait ties, including October's Ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum and the first cross-Strait peace forum, the Straits Forum in June, and the service trade agreement signed by the two sides in June.