NANNING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland and Taiwan adopted 19 joint proposals at the Ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, including one encouraging the island's cooperation with the newly built Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
The proposal, announced by the Kuomintang (KMT) Party's vice chairman John Chiang, states that comprehensive cooperation should be conducted between a pilot free economic area in Taiwan and the Shanghai FTZ as well as another three pilot economic areas in eastern China's provinces of Fujian and Jiangsu.
The free economic zones established by the two sides should cooperate and learn from each other to achieve common development, according to the proposal.
The Shanghai FTZ, which began operating in late September, is a 28.78-square-km district billed as a test site for deepening market-oriented reforms and boosting economic vitality.
Wu Poh-hsiung, KMT honorary chairman, said at his speech at the closing ceremony that it is a "delight" that the two sides have planned or established FTZs and pilot free economic areas, which demonstrate their determination to face up to the challenges brought by the economic integration of other regions.
"We anticipate that the mainland and Taiwan will also think over how to cooperate in this field so as to give us more power to create a prosperous future," he said.
Based on closer cross-Strait economic cooperation, the two sides should explore appropriate ways to keep pace with the Asia-Pacific regional economic integration, participants of the forum said.
The 19 proposals, which also cover cross-Strait cooperation in technology, finance, agriculture, education and tourism, have great meaning and feasibility, said Zhang Zhijun, the mainland's Taiwan affairs chief.
The proposals have reflected the urgency of cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in the face of fierce competition in the international economic and scientific fields, and will provide a useful reference for policymaking authorities of the two sides, said Zhang, head of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.
Zhang said that both sides should seize opportunities to extend cooperation in order to increase advantages in global economic, science and technology competition for better economic and social development across the Strait.
"I truly hope relevant authorities of the both sides turn these proposals into feasible policies and measures," said Yu Zhengsheng, China's top political advisor, at the closing ceremony.
Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, urged people of both sides to overcome difficulties and seek opportunities to jointly promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties and realize China's rejuvenation through cooperation.
The forum, a key platform for communication between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, concluded Sunday in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The mainland and Taiwan could first reach a consensus on FTZ cooperation, and then further discuss detailed cooperation mode, suggested Sun Zhaolin, deputy head of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs under the Ministry of Commerce.
Under the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the two sides can initiate some major projects to form strategic alliance so as to jointly participate in global competition, Sun said.
Liu Meng-jyun, a researcher with the Taiwan-based Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, said that by conducting FTZs cooperation the mainland could take advantage of Taiwan's human resources and technology to develop projects such as medical care and industrial cooperation.
The mainland could also learn from Taiwan's rich experience in financial systems to push out new Renminbi (RMB, the Chinese currency) financial products and promote the outflow of RMB from the Shanghai FTZ, which is also conducive to turning Taiwan one of the key offshore yuan centers, Liu said.
In the proposals, participants urged the two sides to deepen financial cooperation by further opening their financial markets, jointly maintaining the markets' stability and building financial institutions on both sides to enhance exchanges.
The mainland and Taiwan should strengthen cooperation in technological industries, especially in the development of new energy, renewable energy and biotechnology, and strive to build platforms for technology exchanges, such as research and development centers and high-tech parks.
Participants also called on the two sides to further push forward cooperation in such sectors as culture, film, publishing, education, agriculture, medicine, as well as tourism and youth exchanges.
Wu Poh-hsiung said the cross-Strait economic cooperation has further deepened since the signing of the milestone ECFA in 2010.
Goods covered in the ECFA's early harvest program have realized "zero tariff" across the Strait, while the latest Service Trade Agreement inked in June further opened the service sectors to each other, according to Wu.
Echoing the proposals, Wu urged the two sides to accelerate negotiations for a goods trade agreement and a dispute settlement agreement as well as follow-up negotiations for the ECFA.
About 350 officials, scholars and representatives of various industries from both sides attended this year's forum. Discussion and proposals initiated at the forum often provide an important reference for policymaking by the two sides.