Chinese Taiwan and Shanghai embrace post-COIVD cross-strait economic opportunities

Yang Meiping
With COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, Shanghai and Chinese Taiwan are embracing cross-strait economic opportunities, with industries like big data and health care leading the way.
Yang Meiping

Entrepreneurs from Shanghai and Taiwan are confident in further economic cooperation after the COVID-19 pandemic, with great opportunities in key industries like big data and health care.

The signal was amplified by over 100 enterprises at an online meeting on Monday. With the theme of "sharing new opportunities, creating new future," the activity with venues in Shanghai and Taipei gathered executives from enterprises such as Internet giant Alibaba, artificial intelligence company Data Grand and medical firms Shanghai Healthcare Capital and Timing Pharmaceutical Co.

They shared information on the development of their companies and related industries and expressed hopes for cooperation with partners from the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

Huang Haiqing, vice president of Alibaba, said Shanghai is an accelerator for enterprise growth, and Alibaba now has more and more businesses growing in the city, serving local government organs as well as over 90,000 traditional and Internet firms here.

He welcomed enterprises from Taiwan to come to Shanghai and cooperate with Alibaba in the realm of digital economy to jointly promote digital transformation and facilitate high-quality development of real economy across the strait.

Shih Chia-yi, general manager of Kenlat Food (Shanghai) Co and deputy director of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai, also said the Chinese mainland market is full of business opportunities and encouraged young enterprises in her hometown to come and share the benefits.

"We've benefited from the development of the mainland. Even last year, our company maintained a 10-15 percent growth in revenue," said Shih.

Shih came to Shanghai in 1997 as she saw the great potential of the health care market on the mainland, and turned the focus of the company from traditional food and beverage to healthy food. Since then, it has been adding production lines to meet increasing demand and is expanding to the Yangtze River Delta region.

"If a Taiwan enterprise would like to set foot on the mainland, I think Shanghai is an ideal first stop because it has diverse talent, favorable policies, active capital market and a lot of opportunities," she said.

She said most young Taiwan enterprises focus on industries such as catering and services, unlike the older generation, more of whom work in traditional sectors such as manufacturing.

Shanghai is the most densely populated city for Taiwan compatriots on the mainland and also a cluster for cross-strait economic cooperation.

In 2022 alone, 817 new enterprises were set up in Shanghai by Taiwan entrepreneurs, adding the total number up to 18,000 with US$45.49 billion of contracted assets in total.

Shih said the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai will organize a series of activities this year to promote communication between young people from both sides, including an internship starting later this month to have young Taiwan people work in Shanghai for five months.

"We are planning to invite young entrepreneurs in Shanghai to visit Taiwan later and have a close look at our medical tourism industry," she said. "We will also organize young people in Taiwan who want to find more business opportunities on the mainland to come to Shanghai and interact with local entrepreneurs and promote cooperation."

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