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SEF chairman touts potential of cross-strait cultural cooperation

TAIPEI--Taiwan's top negotiator with China said yesterday the development of cross-Taiwan Strait cooperation in the cultural and creative industry is occurring at the right time and among the right people.

Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會), said the production value of cultural and creative businesses in Taiwan accounted for 4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, or NT$600 billion (US$20.2 billion), while the value of the sector in China is expected to reach 5 percent of its GDP by 2015.

The cultural and creative business has the potential to become an important driver of global economic growth, he said at a cultural exchange seminar that was held jointly with China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會).

Cross-strait cooperation in the cultural and creative sector is occurring “at the right time, at the right place and among the right people,” Chiang said, adding that Taiwan and China share common cultural values and languages.

His counterpart, ARATS President Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), said that in a time of global economic uncertainty, the two sides of the strait should take the opportunity to jointly develop cultural and creative businesses with the support of government policies.

Chen and a 60-member delegation are on a 10-day cultural exchange visit in Taiwan. They plan to visit Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, National Palace Museum in Taipei and other cities and counties, including New Taipei, Hualien, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said she has no plans to meet with Chen Yunlin but she welcomes the visit to the city. Officials from the city's cultural department will give the delegation a tour of Kaohsiung's Pier-2 Art Center, the mayor said.

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Protesters hold flags reading “Taiwan independence” outside Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei, yesterday. President Chen Yun-lin (陳雲林) of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and a 60-member mainland Chinese delegation are currently on a 10-day cultural exchange visit in Taiwan. Lawmakers.(CNA)

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