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Taiwan eyes more mainland investment
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A group of Taiwan enterprises led by Core Pacific Group yesterday hosted an investment forum in Beijing to attract mainland businesspeople.

It was the first investment forum organized by Taiwan firms since President Hu Jintao met chairman of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation Vincent Siew at the Boao Forum for Asia.

"The property and financial sectors would probably be the first to benefit from stronger economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan," Chinese University of Hong Kong professor Lam Lang said.

A delegation of the mainland's largest property developers would conduct a market investigation in Taiwan this month.

International real estate service provider DTZ's statistics show T$117 billion (27 billion yuan) was invested in Taiwan's property market last year. Investors' growing interest in the market is demonstrated by the fact that T$44.6 billion (10.3 billion yuan) came from outside Taiwan.

General manager of DTZ's Taiwan branch Yan Bingli said he believed the sector would attract more investment this year.

The investment forum also showcased many of Taiwan's real estate projects, including Agora Garden, a luxury project in Taipei's business district. It is open for bidding at a minimum price of T$14.9 billion (3.4 billion yuan).

CEO of Core Pacific-Yamaichi Capital Limited Darby Liu said: "Taiwan is even more attractive to investors than Hong Kong because of its geographic location and complete industry chain." Liu added that Taiwan not only has strong financial and service industries but also sound manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

"We cooperated with mainland securities firms 10 years ago," Liu said. "And we are also quite interested in taking a stake in mainland securities companies."

In February, Fubang Bank, one of Taiwan's largest, was approved to purchase a 20 percent stake in Xiamen Commercial Bank through its subsidiary in Hong Kong.

Taiwan's stock market has also become increasingly popular with international investors.

In an interview with China Daily, international investor Jim Rogers said he had purchased many Taiwan stocks.

Liu pointed out that over the past five years, Heng Seng Index jumped by 793 percent, while Taiwan's only grew by 52 percent, showing greater growth potential.

(China Daily April 17, 2008)

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