Tue, Mar 12, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Investors drawn to China more than other locations

AFP , TAIPEI

Most Taiwanese enterprises planning new overseas investments are focusing on China after Beijing's entry to the WTO, a government survey showed yesterday.

The poll showed 74.7 percent of the 1,910 respondents currently had operations on the mainland, up from 69.1 percent in 1999.

Some 16.5 percent have investments in the US, followed by 9.1 percent in Hong Kong and 6.7 percent in Malaysia, according to the survey conducted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs from July to October.

And 467 businesses, or 24.3 percent of those polled, said they planned to continue making overseas investments.

Over 77 percent of the 467 firms said they would invest in China, up 22 percentage points from two years ago, the survey showed.

Compared to China, the US and Southeast Asia had apparently lost their charm for most new investments, according to the survey results released recently.

The poll showed only 16.1 percent of the 467 respondents would invest in the US, 11.1 percent in Vietnam, 5.6 percent in Thailand and 3 percent in Malaysia.

The figures were sharply lower as compared to the 1999 survey, in which 18.1 percent said they planned to invest in the US, followed by 17.1 percent in Vietnam, 13.8 percent in Malaysia and 11.8 percent in Thailand.

The ministry attributed China's overwhelming popularity among local businesses to the appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar as well as the nation's soaring labor and land costs since the 1980s.

China's vast market potential, cheaper production costs, and special investment incentives offered to Taiwanese businessmen had also enticed more funds from the nation, it added.

Among the firms invested by Taiwanese, 41.9 percent reported profits in 2000, up from 39.4 percent in 1999 and and 35.7 percent in 1998, it said.

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