The Fujian Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (the “Department”) issued a circular (the “Circular”) on July 2, 2018 to make arrangements for matters concerning the implementation of the Opinions of the Fujian Province on Measures for Promoting Cross-Strait Economic and Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation (the ” Opinions”). The Circular primarily covers three aspects over six measures as detailed below:
I. Expansion of the economic and trade cooperation between Fujian and Taiwan
With respect to “applying the relevant land usage policies equally to Taiwan-funded enterprises in Fujian and other enterprises in Fujian” set forth in the Opinions, the Department is requesting support throughout the province for Taiwan-funded manufacturing enterprise to reasonably increase their land usage for development, increase the ratio of industrial-use land, increase the building area, promote concentrated use of construction lands, and enhance the general efficiency of construction lands for industrial projects as long as the relevant control requirements are met. A Taiwan-funded manufacturing enterprise in Fujian may apply to the local urban and rural planning authorities; the specifics of the process shall be executed pursuant to local requirements. Municipal and county urban and rural planning authorities shall formulate specific implementation measures based on their respective local conditions, clarify the acceptance procedure, the handling guidelines and announce the local contract window, telephone numbers and contact persons.
For Taiwan-funded enterprises being allowed to participate in public service special permit projects such as freeways, rail transit, port transportation, urban inland river restoration, garbage and sewage treatment, public parking lots, gas supply, etc., the Department specified the same policies shall apply to the Taiwan-funded enterprises participating in those projects as the other enterprises in Fujian. For special permit operation of municipal public utilities, there shall be a public tender, and the local public utility authorities shall announce their specific local contact windows, telephone numbers and contact persons to the public.
II. Support of the Taiwan compatriots in terms of internship, employment and entrepreneurship
With respect to the Opinions for providing “a professional or technician from Taiwan who holds an accounting, architecture, consulting, finance, medical or tourism license a way to engage and develop relevant businesses within the scope of the license within the pilot free trade zones in this province” the Department is requiring all local governments to implement additional policies under the Circular on Performing Proper Work Relating to the Development of Business Activities by Taiwanese Architects in the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zones (Min Jian Shi  No. 13), the Circular on Promoting the Development of Professional Architecture Services within the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zones (Min Jian Sh  No. 23), and the Measures on the Administration of Architecture Activities Conducted by Taiwan’s Architecture Enterprises Entering the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area (for Trial Implementation) (Min Jian  No. 10) to promote and guide architects from Taiwan to set up their businesses in the free trade zones in this province. If the design of an architect who has received an award for excellence in Taiwan and a Taiwan architecture award (best mention) is selected, the architecture firm in Taiwan can be retained directly through direct retainer or invitation to bid. The construction administration authorities in the pilot free trade zone (the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area) are required to formulate specific implementation measures in line with the relevant policies of the provincial department and to announce the specific local contact windows, telephone numbers and contact persons to the public.
As for the “participation of investors, architects or cultural and creative teams from Taiwan in rural living projects in this province such as featured townships, development of featured agricultural produces, improving the living environment (such as farmhouses) of rural residents, beautiful rural villages, tourism, and the protection and utilization of traditional villages as well as historically and culturally famous villages,” the Department is requiring all local governments to prepare measures to encourage architects and cultural and creative teams from Taiwan to participate in such projects, as well as in village planning design projects in which “accompanying” guidance services are provided. The Department also pointed out that it is taking full advantage of this opportunity to meet with relevant departments in releasing the Opinions on Encouraging Taiwanese Architects to Participate in Rural Reconstruction (Trial Implementation) and will select third party institutions through government procurement services to facilitate Taiwanese architects to work on rural reconstruction and creativity projects. Local governments are required to timely follow up, thoroughly implement the relevant policies and coordinate with the third party institutions. A batch of village projects will be launched in which Taiwanese architect teams will provide accompanying type of services for planning and design, keep track of the implementation of guidance projects, and set up a system where information about the coordination and project implementation involving Taiwanese architecture teams is reported monthly to the provincial department. All local construction administrative authorities are required to announce the specific local contact windows, telephone numbers and contact persons to the public.
III. Facilitating residence and employment for the Taiwan compatriots
Regarding “support to qualified Taiwan compatriots in their applications for public rental housing in the cities, counties (districts) in this province, the, formulation of reasonable application conditions for opening up to the Taiwan compatriots, and afford the Taiwan compatriots the same treatment in their purchase of real estate for their own residences in terms of the deposit, the timeframes, and applications for loans” mentioned in the Implementation Opinions, the Department states that is supporting and encouraging all cities, counties (districts) to release implementation measures based on their local circumstances, the number of the Taiwan compatriots and the ability to provide public rental housing in setting out reasonable public rental housing conditions for application by the Taiwan compatriots. They shall include eligible Taiwan compatriots for guaranteed public rental housing, and announce the specific local contact windows, telephone numbers and contact persons.
As to how “the Taiwan compatriots working in Fujian may participate in the ‘five insurance and one fund’ policy and enjoy the same labor protection and treatment as local residents,” the Department is requiring all local governments to thoroughly implement regulations on the contribution to and utilization of the housing fund, and properly make the policy announcements, explanations and services so that Taiwan compatriots engaged in housing fund business in mainland China will enjoy the same rights as mainland Chinese workers and can make one-time withdrawal from the housing fund pursuant to applicable requirements when leaving mainland China. All housing fund management centers are required to announce the local consultation numbers and contact persons.
In general, the Fujian Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has put forth specific measures in response to the Opinions and has also designated the specific responsible persons. Meanwhile, the Department is further requiring all local governments to streamline the administrative processes, refine guidelines, strengthen the training and guidance of relevant personnel, become highly familiar with the details of the measures, actively provide guidance services for incoming calls or letters or on-site consultations, clearly indicate the specific departments and contact persons for relevant measures and timely announce such contact information to the public. Investors with investment needs and individuals seeking employment or starting businesses from Taiwan may refer to the above measures to obtain more facilitating information.