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Anping Free Trade Port begins official operations in Tainan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Port of Kaohsiung on Tuesday said Anping Free Trade Port has officially opened, adding that heavyweights such as Chi Mei Corporation (奇美實業) have expressed interest in expanding their presence into Anping.

The Port of Kaohsiung under Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC,台灣港務公司) yesterday said that the operation of Anping Free Trade Port was approved at a joint meeting between the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC,交通部), the Customs Administration under the Ministry of Finance (財政部關務署), the Environmental Protection Administration under the Executive Yuan (行政院環境保護署), Tainan City Government (台南市政府) and the Maritime and Port Bureau under MOTC.

In addition to Chi Mei, Uni-President Enterprises Corporation (統一企業) also revealed its intention to set up operations in Anping Free Trade Port, TIPC said.

Since last October, TIPC has entered into talks with potential investors in warehousing and international logistics, petrochemical products, non-ferrous metal, sports and leisure products, air conditioning equipment, auto parts and components, agricultural products and Chinese medicinal food processing industries.

The ports company said it is recruiting investment from container and passenger shipping companies to open routes from Anping to Xiamen and Quanzhou. A single-stop window will be established to enhance the efficiency of investment promotion.

Taiwan's existing free trade zones (FTZs) are Keelung Harbor, Taipei Port, Taichung Harbor, Kaohsiung Harbor, Suao Harbor and Taoyuan Aerotropolis. With the approval of Anping Harbor's application on Aug. 20, 2013, Taiwan has seven FTZs.

The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD,行政院經濟建設委員會) points out that with the opening of direct transportation links across the Taiwan Strait and the signing of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the ratio of southern Taiwan's exports to mainland China is increasing steadily.

Anping Harbor is only 145 nautical miles from Xiamen and Quanzhou harbors in China, so the establishment of an FTZ there will give a boost to the development of agriculture and industry in southern Taiwan.

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