■ Investment climate good
Taiwan's investment environment will be the third-best in the world over the next five years, as ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit, following Singapore and Hong Kong, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. In a report, "County Forecast: Global Outlook," published in September, the EIU used 10 indicators to evaluate Taiwan's investment climate, including political environment, macroeconomic environment, market opportunity, private competition, foreign capital policy, foreign exchange policy, taxation, labor market and infrastructure construction. The EIU predicts Taiwan's GDP will increase by 5.8 percent this year, and will maintain an average rate of 4.7 percent between 2005 and 2008.
■ Firms release `value card'
E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) and Taipei's Hoover Cinema (豪華戲院) yesterday announced plans to issue a co-branded stored-value card, allowing moviegoers to enjoy benefits and make purchases without the use of cash. In cooperation with Mondex Taiwan Inc, cardholders can also use the card in Hi-Life (萊爾富) stores, at Barista Coffee (西雅圖咖啡), lottery booths and other shops that bear the Mondex sign. Aimed at enhancing customer loyalty, the program requires NT$100 for each card application and cardholders can use cash or their E.Sun credit cards to add value.
■ NT dollar strengthens
The New Taiwan dollar rose yesterday against its US counterpart, up NT$0.055 to close at NT$33.427 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$517 million.