Policies, financing help Taiwan agriculture investors

Updated: Jul 24, 2023 By HU MEIDONG and ZHENG CAIXIONG in Fuzhou Print
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Chang Tang-wei, a Taiwan businessman based in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, tends to his butterfly orchid plantation base. [Photo/for]

The integrated development of agriculture across the Taiwan Strait has gained promise as Fujian province has introduced preferential policies to attract investors over the years.

Preferential policies, including electricity price discounts, subsidies for purchasing agricultural machinery and financing, have benefitted many Taiwan investors who have built plantations and set up related agricultural projects in the province.

Fujian has reduced electricity bills by 54.34 million yuan ($7.65 million) for companies from Taiwan that have set up agricultural projects and facilities in six State-level agricultural industrial parks over the last five years.

Last year alone, electricity bills valued at 11.17 million yuan were reduced for 158 Taiwan companies in Zhangzhou and Zhangping.

Meanwhile, coordinated efforts have been made to help Taiwan investors solve problems in financing, land use rights, expanding the domestic market, research and development, innovation and rural vitalization in Fujian, benefiting the mass Taiwan investors in agriculture industry.

Hsieh Tung-ching, an investor from Taiwan in Zhangping, said he can save more than 100,000 yuan annually from the electricity price discount alone, greatly reducing operational pressure and enhancing the profitability of his company. Hsieh is first Taiwan resident to come to Zhangping to plant tea.

The discounts provided to Taiwan companies took the price down from 0.7 yuan per kilowatt-hour to 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour, a reduction of more than 40 percent, Hsieh said.

Taiwan companies in his agricultural park can save more than 800,000 yuan annually, he said.

Chang Tang-wei said he successfully obtained a loan of 3 million yuan through a bank in Zhangzhou for expansion of his greenhouse last year.

Obtaining loans became easier after the local government introduced preferential policies to help Taiwan investors solve their problems last year, Chang said.

He said his company has built a 10,000-square-meter greenhouse, with an annual production of 500,000 butterfly orchid seedlings and an annual sales revenue of 8 million yuan.

The provincial department of finance indicated that finance departments in Fujian provided funding of more than 180 million yuan to support the integrated agricultural development of Fujian and Taiwan and had implemented loan interest subsidies of more than 20 million yuan since 2021.

After the loan interest discount provided to Taiwan investors, the average loan interest rate for Taiwan agricultural enterprises decreased from 5 percent to around 1 percent, effectively reducing their financing costs.

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