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China-based firms name stories of '13

TAIPEI -- The effective start of cross-strait pacts on investment protection and customs cooperation has made the top of a list of the 10 most important news items for China-based Taiwanese businesspeople last year, according to a local business association.

The Taipei-based Chinese Professional Management Association of Taipei's list, released Monday, also includes the establishment of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, the opening up of Chinese yuan-related business at 46 Taiwanese banks, and the Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress.

The list is rounded out by the exclusion of certain businesses in Taiwan from Chinese investment; the city of Xiamen's announcement of 31 measures to enhance ties with Taiwan; the opening of a cross-strait industrial cooperation pilot zone in Kunshan; a decision by Taiwan's Ministry of Education to recognize diplomas from 111 Chinese universities; China's announcement of provisional regulations for Taiwanese investors sending funds through a third location; and China's selection of 14 designated institutions for resolving cross-strait disputes.

Chen Cheng-hsiang, president of the association, said that the list was made from a list of news items, largely focusing on the development of China's economic system and the effects of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement of 2010, which were picked by its 73 directors and supervisors.

Chen said he hopes Taiwan and China can continue working toward relaxing economic policies in 2014 to facilitate development.

Organization vice president Lin Chung-he said that while many Taiwanese businesses see enormous opportunity in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, they should first evaluate their strength in the face of fierce competition from Chinese and global businesses before making investments there.

Lin suggested Taiwan's small- and medium-sized enterprises should grasp the opportunities brought by increasing domestic demand in China spurred by its rapid urbanization.

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