Mainland, Taiwan experts envision closer cooperation in service sector

Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan met at a cross-strait forum on Monday, highlighting the service industry’s new opportunities arising from the mainland’s drive to stimulate domestic consumption in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Song Xiaowu, president of the mainland-based China Society of Economic Reform, said the mainland and Taiwan can work together to explore the potential of the service sector.

He said that the island can use its expertise to tap the vast mainland market, including offering home care services for the rapidly aging population.

Wu Chung-Shu, president of Taiwan’s Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, said the mainland and Taiwan should be more open to economic cooperation.

“It is wrong to think that the transfer of technological know-how from Taiwan to the mainland will dent the competitiveness of Taiwan’s companies,” he said.

The Chinese mainland has vowed to boost the contribution of the service sector to the overall economy from 43 percent in 2010 to 47 percent by 2015.

The mainland economy, which has long relied heavily on exports and investments in infrastructure, is now facing the challenges of excessive energy consumption and environmental degradation as a result of its rapid growth.

Economists believe that a more developed service sector will lessen the adverse effects of fast economic growth and help improve the welfare of the people.

Cross-strait trade and investment relations have developed steadily in recent years. The two sides have signed numerous agreements guiding business ties since 2008.

Many mainland and Taiwanese businesses have called for closer cross-strait trade and investment ties to dodge the global economic crisis and stimulate economic growth.

Xinhua