More than 1,800 firms are expected to attend a Xiamen-Taiwan export trade fair next week organised by the Xiamen municipal Government and trade unions. More than 1,000 Taiwan firms had applied to attend the fair, which starts on Tuesday. Authorities would also hold a Taiwan Compatriots Home Travel and Shopping Festival, Xiamen Executive Vice-Mayor Zhu Yayan said. The Propaganda Department's spokesman Yan Zhiwei said they had already sent invitations to departmental heads in Beijing to attend the five-day fair. But a detailed guest list had yet to be finalised. Meanwhile, Xiamen officials appeared cautious about the progress of direct links with Taiwan. Deputy director of Xiamen Harbour Bureau, Zeng Taiping, remained silent over when the Communication Bureau would approve direct link applications and whether the Harbour Bureau had already made contact with its Taiwan counterpart.