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US Media: Pingtan, An Emerging Cooperation Window Between Fujian and Taiwan

Updated: November 14, 2019 Source: Belt and Road Portal
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Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone in Fujian Province, the nearest place to Taiwan Island in mainland, China, is blessed with the unique geographical advantage: only 3-hour-shipping to Taiwan Island. "Air transportation speed with only sea transportation cost" makes Pingtan a favored destination for Taiwan's enterprises entering the mainland from the west.

Pingtan has opened direct passenger and cargo routes to Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, which makes it the pioneer to fully cover the routes to the northern, central and southern ports of Taiwan in mainland, China. At the same time, Pingtan has made active efforts to build the Aoqian Taiwan Town (a duty-free market for the commodities from Taiwan), Taiwan Agricultural and Fishery Products Trading Center and an online trading platform for cross-strait agricultural and fishery products, trying to become the "first window" for the entry of the commodities from Taiwan.

According to the Management Committee of Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, in the first 8 months of this year, Pingtan's route to Taiwan has transported 160,000 passengers, a year-on-year growth of 37.67%, of which compatriots from Taiwan accounted for more than 60%. Pingtan has imported 3,141 TEUs of agricultural and fishery products from Taiwan, totaling 356 million yuan (RMB, the same below).

In the mainland, Pingtan first started the work of admitting the professional qualifications of Taiwan. Currently, comparison of 134 professional qualifications between the mainland and Taiwan has been completed, 95 of which have been directly admitted, allowing Taiwan compatriots with qualification admission certificate to work in Pingtan.

On October 29 this year, the first batch of 70 Taiwan residents whose professional qualifications were directly admitted were awarded the National Vocational Qualification by Fujian Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security in Pingtan.

Besides, Pingtan also relaxes access to the industries of construction, planning and environmental protection. More than 60 Taiwan-based companies involved in construction, design, engineering and technical consulting have been registered and participated in more than 40 projects in the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone.

Since the beginning of this year, the first Taiwan community featuring full Taiwan elements in the mainland was launched in Pingtan, which will be "designed by Taiwan planning units, built by Taiwan construction enterprise, accepted according to Taiwan standards, enjoyed by Taiwan compatriots and managed by Taiwan style property management company". The first Taiwan Enterprise Service Center in the mainland was established, allowing both Taiwan enterprises and compatriots to complete all procedures at one place. In addition, the center initiated the policy to employ Taiwanese youth to serve Taiwan enterprises and compatriots directly, creating an official environment featuring integrated "one-on-one" and "hand-in-hand" services of both sides.

Cai Fuyong, Deputy Director of the Management Committee of Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, said that with a focus on making Taiwan compatriots, especially Taiwanese youth more convenient and easy to work and even settle down in Pingtan, more and comprehensive policies will be carried out for them.

Pingtan has already carried out a serious measures to encourage Taiwanese youth to start businesses or find jobs. For instance, a multitude of innovative entrepreneurial platforms such as Taiwan Entrepreneurship Park, Aoqian Taiwan Town, Beigang Cultural Innovation Village and Tanshui Ancient Village has been established, Taiwanese Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Guiding Plan has been regularly carried out. With all these efforts, Pingtan has attracted a great number of Taiwanese youth. More than 1,700 Taiwanese youth obtained training here in the first eight months of this year.

More than 100 film and television companies have registered and settled down here, together with an over 15-billion-yuan investment contract to build a large-scale commercial and sports complex OCT. As projects such as high-end brand hotels, cruise ship departure ports and island-tourism have been accelerated, the headquarters economic and industrial policies have attracted more than 60 enterprises to settle down. Thanks to those achievements Pingtan has made, it has attracted numerous domestic and overseas visitors and merchants, building it a hot spot for business start-up.

In 2018, Pingtan was rated as one of the "Top 100 Counties and Cities with Investment Potential" in the mainland by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It is believed that Pingtan is one of the regions with the best potential to develop cross-border e-commerce.

According to official data, the GDP of the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone increased by an average of 8.5% annually from 2014 to 2018. In 2018, the actual use of foreign capital and total exports soared by 77.8% and 41.7% on a year-on-year basis, respectively, both topping across Fujian Province. And the regional GDP in the first half of this year increased by 9.9% on a year-on-year basis. The booming development of "cooperation between Fujian and Taiwan" as well as "opening-up", the two main economic drivers, has promoted the high-quality development of Pingtan.

Editor: 曹家宁