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Print Edition> Business
UPDATED: April 2, 2011 NO. 14 APRIL 7, 2011
Bridging the Straits
A new economic zone in China's east coastal region will open new trade possibilities across the Taiwan Straits

Island platform


BUSINESS OPPOTUNITIES: The 12th Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade held on May 18, 2010 in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, attracted 423 Taiwan-funded enterprises (ZHANG GUOJUN) 

As the most important part of the Western Taiwan Straits Economic Zone, Fujian will develop its Pingtan Island into a pilot area for cross-Straits economic cooperation.

Pingtan Island, which lies 28 km from Fuzhou and around 120 km from Taiwan, is the fifth largest island in China, almost twice the size of Hong Kong and Xiamen.

Construction of Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone will be promoted, said the development program.

"Based on its unique and strategic location, we are going to build a special economic zone to enhance cross-Straits industrial cooperation," said Chen Hua, Vice Governor of Fujian.

Chen hopes Pingtan will become the frontier platform for cross-Straits cooperation by building a modern industrial system with distinct characteristics and ensuring mutual benefits.

Municipal and provincial governments will offer subsidies to build a 95.64-km road around the island.

In addition to expanding Fuzhou's bonded area to Pingtan, the country will also build an area under special customs supervision in Pingtan to facilitate trade between the mainland and Taiwan.

"At that time, people, ships and cargo from Taiwan will enter and leave Pingtan freely, as if it were their own home," Chen said.

Last November, the 4,976-meter-long Pingtan Cross-Straits Bridge was opened, ending the need to use ferries to reach the island. A second cross-Straits bridge is being planned.

The Yuping expressway connecting Pingtan and Fuqing completed last December shortened the travel time between Pingtan and Fuzhou to 1.5 hours from 2.5 hours.

Up to five ports, including a 200,000-ton-capacity port and two 300,000-ton-capacity ports, are being planned.

The capacity of Pingtan's wastewater processing plant will be expanded from 10,000 tons per day to 30,000 tons per day, and another two plants will be built.

Western Taiwan Straits Economic Zone

Cities: Xiamen, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Ningde, Nanping, Sanming, Putian, Zhangzhou and Longyan of Fujian Province;

Yingtan, Fuzhou, Shangrao and Ganzhou of Jiangxi Province;

Quzhou, Lishui and Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province;

Meizhou, Chaozhou, Jieyang and Shantou of Guangdong Province.

Area: 270,000 square km

Population: more than 60 million

GDP (2009): 2.06 trillion yuan ($314 billion), growing 12%


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