This year marks the 30th anniversary of the mainland establishing non-government exchanges with Taiwan, Ma said.
The forum facilitates cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, medical and legal services and business, he said.
Sub-forums on the internet and finance, as well as other activities including innovation and entrepreneurship competitions, a youth leadership campus and recruitment fairs, will also be held during the forum to attract more young people and help professionals from Taiwan to find jobs or start their own businesses on the mainland.
In addition, it was announced during the opening ceremony of the Matsu cultural festival - part of the forum - that the golden statue of Goddess Matsu will begin her second journey from Fujian's Meizhou town to Taiwan in September, after the first 20 years ago.
Lin Jinbang, chairman of the board of the Meizhou Matsu ancestral temple, said Matsu was a belief shared between the mainland and Taiwan, bridging the two sides in more communications.
In 1997, the statue traveled around Taiwan for 102 days, when more than 10 million people paid homage to it.
"I came to Putian of Fujian province to worship the Goddess Matsu as a way to find my own roots here," said Wang Chao-chieh, a college student from Taiwan, at the Goddess Matsu cultural week held from June 12 to 18.
Different from previous sessions, this year's cultural week targeted youth by holding exhibitions of their artwork, entrepreneurship exchange meetings and urban experience activities in Putian.
Chen Chun-leung, a manager from Hungkuang University of Taiwan, said face-to-face communication helps to promote understanding between young people from the mainland and Taiwan.
The Straits Forum helps to promote people-to-people exchanges.Provided To China Daily
Taiwan compatriots with electronic travel passes can use self-service machines at selected railway stations in the Chinese mainland, China Railway Corporation said Tuesday.
This year, the third Jimei Arles photo festival will stage yet another visual feast in November.