The opening of the 2023 Cross-Straits CEO Summit, a two-day annual conference for cross-Straits entrepreneurs, took place in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province on November 14, 2023. The event witnessed the active participation of more than 800 business professionals from various industries from the two sides of the Straits. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT
Mainland and Taiwan entrepreneurs enthusiastically embraced the 2023 Cross-Straits CEO Summit, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, with organizers and attendees vowing to build stronger economic cooperation by the two sides of the Straits.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, sent a congratulatory letter to the 2023 annual conference of the summit for entrepreneurs across the Taiwan Straits, which is taking place in Nanjing, the capital city of East China’s Jiangsu Province, from Tuesday to Wednesday.
The summit serves as a crucial platform for communication and cooperation between enterprises and businesspeople from both sides of the Taiwan Straits, playing an important role in fostering economic cooperation and deepening the integrated development across the Straits, Xi said, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Xi said efforts will be continued to facilitate economic exchanges and cooperation and advance integrated development in all fields across the Straits. More work will be done to improve systems and policies that contribute to the well-being of Taiwan compatriots, and help Taiwan compatriots and enterprises integrate into the new development pattern and achieve high-quality development, he noted.
Xi called on entrepreneurs on both sides to safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese nation, keep pace with the trends of history and shoulder the responsibility of the times, in an effort to promote the peaceful and integrated development of cross-Straits relations and realize China’s reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The event witnessed the active participation of about 800 business professionals, experts and scholars from the two sides of the Straits.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the annual conference, which came back to an in-person format for the first time in the post-COVID era, unfolded as planned and with joint expectations, particularly from companies in the Taiwan region.
Participants actively seized the opportunity to engage with business partners in tapping into the potential of the mainland market, while opposing decoupling and separation by the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities.
Addressing the event, Guo Jinlong, president of the summit’s mainland-based council, said that over the past decade since its establishment, the summit has consistently dedicated itself to advancing industrial exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Straits, and has received enthusiastically responses and active participation from entrepreneurs on both sides, playing a positive role in promoting the peaceful development and integration of cross-Straits relations.
These past 10 years have been a decade of abundant harvest in cross-Straits economic and trade cooperation.
Total trade between the two sides has nearly doubled, increasing from $168.9 billion in 2012 to $319.6 billion in 2022, with the cumulative actual use of capital from Taiwan reaching $72 billion, according to the summit.
Over the decade, the summit has persisted in promoting the deepening and solidification of cross-Straits economic and trade exchanges, actively facilitating enterprises from Taiwan in the fields of energy and petrochemicals, electronic information, equipment manufacturing and biopharmaceuticals, among others, to invest, establish factories and expand production in the mainland, Guo said.
James Wu, the chairman of Fabulous Group (Xiamen) Co, was among the businessmen from the Taiwan island who participated in this summit. Like many enterprises from the region, his business has grown in tandem with the development of the mainland.
In addition to the enormous opportunities in the mainland market, businesses from Taiwan have benefited from favorable policies, including tax exemptions, making their development very smooth, Wu told the Global Times.
“Many companies of Taiwan are export-oriented, and with the vast market in the mainland, the momentum of their development is promising,” he said.
Wu’s company is actively participating in the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), expanding its business to countries including Russia and Turkey, and being the beneficiaries of the dividends of the mainland’s economic development and beyond.
The entrepreneurs’ conference is an excellent platform for communication, bringing numerous opportunities for cooperation to entrepreneurs from both sides of the Straits, Lee Cheng-hung, president of the association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland, told the Global Times at the event on Tuesday.
Despite the Taiwan DPP authorities attempting to obstruct economic and trade exchanges across the Straits and even advocating for “decoupling,” business representatives of the Taiwan region believe that these actions cannot hinder investment cooperation by Taiwan enterprises in the mainland. “Cross-Straits businesses have significant complementarity, which is why economic and trade relations between the two sides have been so close,” Lee said.
The claims by the DPP are more of an attempt to garner more votes, representing a clear case of ideological political manipulation, Lee said. “Despite this, I believe that people can see through such tactics, especially entrepreneurs from Taiwan who understand where development is more promising. They recognize that active development and cooperation across the Straits are essential for mutual benefit and progress,” he further noted.
Lee hopes that both sides can integrate into the new development patterns of the mainland and find new business opportunities in Chinese modernization, the BRI and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
“We look forward to entrepreneurs from both sides continuing to join hands, striving together and creating a win-win situation,” he said.