Xiamen seeks approval to set up sole currency settlement centre
Xiamen, a major city in Fujian, is making a move to forge closer financial ties with Taiwan by applying to be the mainland's first and only settlement centre for the official currencies in the two markets, according to Xiamen vice-mayor Ding Guoyan.
As a core part of closer cross-strait co-operation in finance and trade, the coastal mainland city was seeking the State Council's approval to set up the planned settlement centre, a shortcut to existing fund flows from Taiwan into Xiamen through Hong Kong, he said.
'We are fighting for this,' Mr Ding said yesterday of the plan. 'We are also in talks with Taiwan and Hong Kong about intensified co-operation in logistics, services and financial areas.'
A race to entice more Taiwanese investments was sparked last month when the State Council promulgated a policy to create a special economic belt in the west of the Taiwan Strait by 2012-2020. The economic belt spanning southeastern Fujian aims to buoy business and financial and cultural exchanges as well as human relationships across the straits.
Xiamen's aggressive push in the currency settlement scheme rivals the ambition of provincial capital Fuzhou, which plans to position itself as a twin financial, economic and trade hub with Taipei.
However, Mr Ding is confident of meeting Xiamen's goal as the city had the first financial deal in the province last year, which saw Taiwan's Fubon Bank buy a 19.99 per cent stake in Xiamen Commercial Bank last year.
He said the Xiamen municipal government was about to approve a Taiwanese securities brokerage merger and acquisition in Xiamen, but he declined to give details.