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Trade Between Mainland, Taiwan Hits US$100b
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Trade between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan hit a record US$107.8 billion in 2006, Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council spokesman Yang Yi said here Wednesday.

It was the first time trade had exceeded US$100 billion, Yang said, adding it had risen 18.2 percent on the previous year.

Mainland exports to Taiwan reached US$20.74 billion, up 25.3 percent year-on-year, and imports totaled US$87.11 billion, up 16.6 percent, said Yang.

According to Ministry of Commerce statistics, the mainland approved 3,752 Taiwan-funded projects in 2006 worth US$11.34 billion. The funds actually used reached US$2.14 billion.

In 2006, cross-straits exchanges and cooperation were fruitful especially in the agriculture and information industries, Yang said.

In April 2006, mainland officials and the Kuomintang party held an economic and trade forum at which the government issued 15 preferential policies for Taiwan exporters and in October, the two sides held a forum on agricultural cooperation with 20 preferential policies released.

The two sides also held two forums on information technology, he said.

Last year, breakthroughs were made in promoting the early realization of the three direct links -- mail, trade and transport services -- across the Taiwan Straits with regular chartered flights for holidays and special cargoes, he said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan-funded companies enjoyed a better investment and finance climate and cross-straits exchanges and cooperation in financial circles also increased, Yang said.

Yang said the mainland would continue to take effective measures to ensure implementation of those preferential policies this year.

The mainland will make efforts to realize the regular chartered flights at weekends and more convenient chartered flights for cargoes, he said.

The mainland will promote cross-straits communication to establish a finance supervision mechanism.

Yang also said preparations for establishing a nationwide organization of Taiwan businessmen on the mainland were underway.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2007)

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