Taiwan launches direct foreign investment plan

Members of the Taiwan Cabinet field questions from the Taiwan media on the inbound investment program Oct. 31 in Taipei City.
Taiwan-controlled firms operating overseas will be encouraged to shift parts of their operations home under a two-year inbound investment program launched Nov. 1 by the ROC government.

“Changing conditions in mainland China have prompted many Taiwan firms operating on the other side of the strait to look again at the merits of doing business at home,” Premier Sean C. Chen said.

“Taiwan’s competitive business environment and value-for-money cost structures are proving to be a real game changer. The program is the right move at the right time.”

The plan is expected to spur NT$200 billion (US$6.8 billion) in investment, generate output of NT$303.7 billion and create 82,000 new jobs. Key components include relaxing restrictions on foreign worker numbers, slashing tariffs on equipment and machinery, offering bridging loans, streamlining administrative procedures, and assisting with job training and land acquisition.

According to Chen, the program is a central part of the government’s push to lift foreign direct investment levels.

“Foreign investment plays a key role in our balance of payments, capital formation, job creation and technology advancement,” Chen said. “All agencies have been instructed to throw their weight behind the plan and ensure its success.”

Another important aspect of the program, the premier said, involves promoting Taiwan as a regional headquarters for multinationals and world-class site for backup Japanese production facilities.

The most recent data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs showed approved foreign and mainland China direct investment in Taiwan was US$4.07 billion for the first nine months, up 20 percent year on year.

The government has been burning the midnight oil to attract more foreign investment this year, Chen said, with three business promotion tours of the EU, Japan and U.S. bagging NT$126.6 billion in pledges. Of these 13 industry heavyweights signed letters of intent with the MOEA totaling NT$85 billion and creating new 4,630 jobs.

“Promoting foreign investment is a top policy priority for the government and no stone will be left unturned in achieving this goal,” he said.

Meg Chang
Taiwan Today

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