The Fujian Development and Reform Commission (the “Commission”) issued a circular (the “Circular”) on July 4, 2018 to make further arrangements for the implementation of the Opinions of the Fujian Province on Measures for Promoting Cross-Strait Economic and Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation (the “Opinions”). According to the Circular, the Commission issued the Circular to provide a response and feedback to the Opinions released in the Fujian Province and the “31 Taiwan Benefit Measures” released by the National Development and Reform Commission. Each of the reform departments in the Fujian Province has been tasked to diligently study the provisions in the Opinions that pertain to itself and to sort out and formulate specific implementation measures based on its functions and duties to further clarify the operating procedures, including the application conditions, materials, procedures, contact windows, telephone numbers and persons. In short, the Circular primarily covers the following measures:
In terms of investment, the Circular states that with respect to “a Taiwan-funded enterprise registered in this province, or having its primary operating assets in this province, applies for listing in mainland China, it is eligible for the listing support policies promulgated by all levels of government in this province. A Taiwan-funded enterprise that has invested in the Fujian Province through funds raised in mainland China shall have priority in inclusion in the province’s focused projects if the application eligibility requirements are met” and “investors, architects and cultural creations groups in Taiwan who participate in the construction of featured townships of this province,” the various local development and reform commissions shall follow the relevant requirements and procedures in the selection process and report to the Fujian Development and Reform Commission in a timely manner. As for “supporting the development of collaboration between a Taiwan-funded enterprise and a state-owned enterprise in this province to jointly carry out mergers, acquisitions and consolidations in the international market,” relevant Taiwan-funded enterprises may apply to the Fujian Development and Reform Commission or the National Development and Reform Commission through the nationwide offshore management and service network system, and all local development and reform commissions in Fujian are requested to properly perform the relevant guidance and service work. Regarding “whether a Taiwan-funded enterprise may participate in public service special permit projects such as freeways, railway transportation, port transportation, urban inland river restoration, garbage and sewage treatment, public parking lots, gas supply, etc. in this province,” the development and reform commissions in Fujian are required to studiously carry out their services and conduct work in conjunction with local finance departments. Meanwhile, the Fujian Development and Reform Commission also announced the specific responsible departments, reporting requirements and contacts with respect to the above matters.
II. Industry upgrades
As far as industry upgrades are concerned, the Circular states that with respect to “Taiwan-funded enterprises participating in the implementation of the Fujian Province’s Action Program for Implementing ‘Made in China 2025’ being subject to the same policies as mainland China enterprises,” the development and reform commissions in Fujian are required to coordinate with the relevant local departments in performing the joint tasks so as to promote the transformation and upgrade of Taiwan-funded enterprises in Fujian, and support their participation in the research, development and innovation of critical and key technologies in areas such as next generation information technologies, high-end CNC machine tools and robotics, new energy vehicles, intelligent machines, special agricultural machinery and equipment, and new materials. With respect to “providing active support to investors from the Taiwan area through ‘reviewing applications on a case-by-case basis’ in their industry arrangements and funding support for the establishment of integrated circuit, high-end medical equipment, precision machinery, petrochemical, cultural and creative, biotechnology, modern agriculture, and modern logistics enterprises in this province,” the development and reform commissions in Fujian are also required to work with relevant local departments in providing active support and promotion. For projects required to be submitted to the Fujian Development and Reform Commission, they are required to be submitted pursuant to relevant requirements and procedures. Meanwhile, the Circular also clarifies the specific responsible departments, reporting requirements and contacts for the above matters.
III. Employment and entrepreneurship of the Taiwan compatriots
With respect to the issues of employment and entrepreneurship of Taiwan compatriots in Fujian, the Circular provides that they shall be eligible for the same preferential policies for employment and entrepreneurship as those available to residents in Fujian. The Fujian Development and Reform Commission will work with the relevant departments and ask all local development and reform commissions to properly perform their services and implementation in conjunction with relevant local departments.
In addition, the Circular pointed out that the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area and other cooperation platforms with Taiwan should take full advantage and actively explore new modes and mechanisms for cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, thereby providing the entire province with repeatable promotional experiences. In working with the relevant local departments to draft documents on economic and social development plans, policies and administrative measures, local development and reform commissions are required to proactively maintain the “two sides of the Strait are one family” policy and take initiative in sharing with the Taiwan compatriots development opportunities in mainland China. The preferential policies for Taiwanese companies and individuals shall be separately announced as much as possible. The Circular also stressed that the development and reform department in cities with subordinate districts shall strengthen its communications, guidance and training to county and city development and reform departments, in particular the communications, guidance and training for first-line service windows of such departments throughout the province, so as to provide proper services to the Taiwan compatriots and Taiwan-funded enterprises and to thoroughly carry out policy measures to benefit Taiwan.
In general, the Fujian Provincial Development and Reform Commission has issued a document indicating that it has established further implementation measures in Fujian for the “31 Taiwan Benefit Measures” released by the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council. Taiwan investors and individuals in need of such information should refer to the contact information announced by the Circular to obtain more details about the specific operating requirements.