German firms praise Taiwan business climate

GTO Executive Director Roland Wein explains July 24 in Taipei City that German companies find Taiwan an attractive market with a growing number of business opportunities.

German companies continue to see good opportunities in Taiwan and are bullish about the island’s business climate in the wake of improving cross-strait ties, according to a poll released July 24 by the German Trade Office in Taipei.

“Despite the challenges posed by international economic development, the majority of surveyed firms remain optimistic about the local market,” said Roland Wein, executive director of the GTO.

The GTO Business Confidence survey, which polled 123 of 208 German companies in Taiwan from May 14 to June 8, showed that 25 percent of respondents ranked Taiwan as one of the three most important global markets.

Taiwan continues to be an attractive market for sales, marketing and services, with high growth potential in logistics, machinery and manufacturing industries. Three out of four German firms cite local sales potential as the main reason for their engagement in Taiwan, while two out of three list proximity to their key accounts as very important, according to the survey.

German companies were also found to be have maintained long-term presences in Taiwan, with 75 percent having been active for more than 10 years. A total of 62 percent reported turnover of more than NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) last year, and over 25 percent are planning to increase investment and employees in 2012.

Another survey conducted jointly by the GTO and Berlin-based Germany Trade and Invest revealed that more than 50 percent of German firms in Taiwan are reaping the rewards from improved Taipei-Beijing ties following the signing of the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June 2010.

The poll found that 35 percent of respondents benefited from import tariff reductions under the ECFA early harvest list, and 51 percent expect to gain from further tariff reductions.

In addition, 41 percent consider the further opening of cross-strait trade in services as desirable, with 37 percent hoping that their employees in mainland China can enter Taiwan more easily.

The growing importance of Taiwan is underscored by the 18.5 percent of German companies based on the island that designate their local offices as headquarters for operations in Greater China.

Rachel Chan
Taiwan Today