The city of Xiamen in Fujian province is applying to be the first currency exchange settlement center between Taiwan and the mainland, the South China Morning Post reported. Currently, currency settlement between the two countries must go through Hong Kong. Vice Mayor Ding Guoyan said the city is in talks with Taiwan and Hong Kong about better cooperation in logistics and services. The plan comes on the back of a policy issued by the State Council that would see the area west of the Taiwan Strait become a special economic zone sometime between 2012 and 2020. The zone would cover Southeastern Fujian province and help increase business, cultural and financial exchanges across the straits. China Merchants Holdings will also build a US$2.19 billion port development that would allow cargo such as timber, steel and agricultural products to be shipped between the mainland, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.