Taipei revives financial-markets link to Hong Kong and Shanghai
Fanny W. Y. Fung
The Taipei city government is reviving a proposal to create a dialogue platform with Hong Kong and Shanghai, in an attempt to link the three major financial markets.
The three sides had agreed to the idea in 2001, but later pulled back because of cross-strait political tension. It is back on the Taipei administration's agenda as both mainland-Taiwan and Taiwan-Hong Kong ties improve.
'The three are really important cities in the region,' said Emile Sheng Chih-jen, chairman of the Taipei city government's Research Development and Evaluation Commission. 'Enhancing further co-operation will be beneficial to all sides.'
Taipei and Shanghai are due to hold their next Two-City Forum this year, but a similar event between Taipei and Hong Kong has yet to resume. Professor Sheng said he hoped a three-way forum could be held by the middle of next year to discuss the region's economic development after the financial turmoil.
'To be honest, the role of Hong Kong has diminished quite a bit under the new cross-strait relationship,' he said. 'Last year there were so many direct dialogues between Shanghai and Hong Kong that they almost surpassed [Taipei's] exchanges with Hong Kong.'
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin received a positive response on the proposal from Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen on Friday, and would also talk to Shanghai authorities, Professor Sheng said.
The Taipei research chief said the city could learn from Hong Kong as it worked to develop its financial sector. In the light of Beijing's plan to make Shanghai an international financial hub by 2020, he said, the growing economic importance of Asia meant the three cities would become both partners and rivals.
Separately, Taipei county magistrate Chou Hsi-wei will visit Hong Kong to promote cultural events in early August.