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Expert advocates more mainland investment

TAIPEI -- Wider opening to investment from China will help boost Taiwan's economy by combining its technological strength with China's market strength, Vice Economic Minister Francis Liang said yesterday.

Liang said that Taiwan should not only open a “small and narrow door” to foreign investors -- including Chinese firms -- if the government hopes to attract more foreign companies to Taiwan.

What matters is to make potential foreign companies willing to invest in Taiwan, Liang went on, adding that the actual investment conditions can be negotiated later.

“Chinese companies have the edge in their domestic market, so we are always glad to see cooperation across the Taiwan Strait,” he said when answering reporters' questions on the sidelines of a forum held to explore Taiwan-India business opportunities.

Liang said that if Taiwan can create advantages in terms of cooperation in technology, production and marketing that combine the strengths of both sides, it will provide the country with a serious boost.

Asked about concerns that Chinese companies might steal key technologies as a result of their cooperation with their Taiwanese counterparts, Liang said he was not worried about such issues, as the two sides have signed a deal to protect trademarks and patents.

The vice minister's remarks came after local media reported that the Executive Yuan plans to loosen restrictions on Chinese investment in seven sensitive high-tech sectors.

These key technology sectors include integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing, semiconductor packaging and testing, flat-panel and component manufacturing, machine tool manufacturing, and electronic and semiconductor equipment manufacturing.

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