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Shanghai, Taipei Sign Co-op Memoranda Ahead of Expo

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Shanghai mayor Han Zheng and his Taipei counterpart Hau Lung-bin signed four memoranda of cooperation Tuesday afternoon, covering culture, tourism, environmental protection and technology.

A Shanghai municipal government delegation of about 260 people, headed by Han, arrived here Tuesday morning for a four-day visit to promote the upcoming Shanghai World Expo, which runs from May 1 to October 31.

"This year is very important for both Shanghai and Taipei. The Shanghai Expo is drawing near, and the 2010 International Flora Expo will be held in Taipei this November. We sincerely hope that the two cities can create opportunities for tourism through the two events," Taipei mayor Hau said at the "Shanghai-Taipei City Forum," where the memoranda were signed.

Hau expressed gratitude to the Shanghai municipal government for helping Taipei prepare for the Shanghai World Expo.

Han said Shanghai will draw on Taipei's experience in city construction and management, and expressed hope the two cities will strengthen exchange and cooperation "in all aspects."

Also on Tuesday, several Shanghai companies and Taiwan counterparts signed 28 agreements on long-term exchanges and short-term purchases, along with agreements on investments in finance, chemical materials, steel, tourism, intellectual property rights and farm products, among others.

According to Han, the Shanghai-based Bank of Communications will start bi-directional currency exchange services for the RMB and the New Taiwan dollar ahead the World Expo.

Shanghai is "actively pushing forward" for the establishment of direct flights between Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport and the Taipei SonShan Airport, he added.

Han said he believed that the Taiwan pavilion and the island's companies will be a highlight for the Expo and sincerely invited Taiwan people to visit the event.

Han's schedule includes visiting environment protection facilities, construction sites, street markets and a ride on Taipei's subway.

The delegation's members will have in-depth exchanges with their Taipei counterparts on economic issues, culture, tourism, agriculture and environment protection.

The delegation will also visit the island's Taipei County, Taichung City and Taoyuan County.

(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2010)

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