Taiwan's business community, saddled with the president they least wanted, yesterday told him to mend fences with the mainland, lift a ban on direct trade and shipping and represent all the electorate, not just those who voted for him. Chen Shui-bian, candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won Saturday's presidential election with 39.3 per cent of the vote, ending 55 years of rule by the Kuomintang. During the campaign, most business leaders supported the other two main candidates, warning of economic collapse, a sharp fall in the stock market and confrontation with Beijing if victory went to the DPP, which has no experience in government and whose party platform calls for setting up 'a sovereign and independent Taiwan'. Most nervous are the 44,000 Taiwan companies that have invested more than US$24 billion in the mainland and would be the principal victims of a deterioration in cross-strait relations. Among them is Da Cheng Great Wall, a major investor in agriculture in the mainland. Its chief executive, Han Jia-huan, said he came back from abroad especially to vote on Saturday. 'The business community was psychologically prepared for a Chen victory, but is very afraid that cross-strait relations will deteriorate. My firm will wait for a while before deciding whether to invest more in China. Chen must consider the interest of all the voters,' he said. Kao Ching-yuan, chairman of the President food group, one of the biggest Taiwan investors in the mainland, who campaigned vigorously for the Kuomintang, said the new president must quickly restore dialogue with Beijing and set up channels of communications. 'He must have a flexible and positive policy towards China. It is a win-win situation for both sides,' Mr Kao said. One of the few leading businessmen to support Mr Chen was Chang Yung-fa, chairman of the Evergreen Group, one of the world's biggest shipping companies. 'Given the deep suspicion of the mainland towards Chen, he should do his utmost to foster dialogue, create a positive atmosphere and make peace in the straits,' he said. Mr Chang called on Mr Chen to immediately change Taiwan's economic policy towards the mainland and open talks on direct shipping and air links, direct trade and direct post and telecommunications links. This was one of seven demands made 10 days before the vote by Taiwan businesses in the mainland that want an end to government restrictions on trade and investment there. But it did not become an issue in an election dominated by corruption and 'black money' of the ruling party, and relations with Beijing. Business has other anxieties about Mr Chen. He has no background in economics and his party no experience in this area. The DPP controls just 70 of the 225 seats in parliament, so will rely on other parties to pass legislation.