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E-commerce firms seek Fujian fortunes

TAIPEI--Taiwan's e-commerce firms now enjoy greater business opportunities in mainland China after the two sides across the Taiwan Strait signed an agreement on trade in services in June 2013, which has prompted a business delegation to visit the mainland, a trade official said recently.

Li Rongmin, the first director of the Taipei office of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), said that the e-commerce industry will be a new point of growth for cooperation between Taiwan and the mainland.

China's e-commerce market is huge and is growing rapidly, while Taiwan's e-commerce businesses have high awareness of innovation, mature techniques and are experienced in management, Li said. These factors lay a relatively sound foundation for cross-strait cooperation in this sector, Li added.

Through cooperation, Taiwan's small and medium enterprises will be able to sell their refined products to China, while China's e-commerce companies could further develop by using international distribution channels established by their Taiwanese counterparts, Li said.

Under the pact, Taiwanese businesses are allowed to set up e-commerce websites in Fujian in which they can hold a maximum 55-percent stake.

Reflecting interest by Taiwanese e-commerce companies in tapping this sector, a delegation composed of representatives from Taipei Chamber of Commerce and the Taipei office of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, visited e-commerce companies in Fujian during their trip to the province between Dec. 18 and 21.

Li said he arranged the visit in the hopes that Taiwan's companies can gain a better understanding of the development of China's e-commerce sector and that the two sides can explore the possibility of cooperating.

Liao Shang-wen, the delegation's leader and the president of the Taipei-based Chinese Non-store Commerce Association, said that China's e-commerce segment has been developing rapidly because both the central and local governments have actively launched various measures and policies to improve the environment to attract foreign enterprises to operate in the country.

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