Wed, Aug 31, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Investment environment No. 5 globally, BERI says

RISK ASSESSMENT The US research institute placed the nation's overall investment environment in the highest category, while political risk remained the weakest area

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan has the world's fifth-best investment environment with the military threat from China abating and a society that is becoming more stable, according to a recent risk assessment report issued by US-based research institute Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI).

Among the 50 countries included in the BERI report, Taiwan ranked behind only Switzerland, Singapore, Holland and Japan.

Top category

The report puts Taiwan's overall investment environment score at 72, leaving it in the highest 1A rating category.

The nation's ranking and score were unchanged from the previous report, which BERI released in April this year.

As the threat from China is gradually being mitigated, along with the government's measures to maintain GDP growth at 4 percent, BERI predicts that the score will rise to 73 and 74 in the next one and five years respectively, moving its ranking to the fourth and fifth positions, the report said.

The institution made the evaluation based on three perspectives, including political risk, operations risk, and remittance and repatriation factors.

Operations risk

In the category of operations risk, Taiwan ranked No. 3 as one of the 30 countries with the freest economies, the report said.

The nation also took the third place in remittance and repatriation, with a high level of foreign exchange reserves, the report said.

High reserves

Taiwan has the third-largest foreign exchange reserves in the world after Japan and China. Foreign exchange reserves stood at US$253.56 billion last month, down US$53 million from June, according to statistics from the central bank.

The figure reflects an increase of US$11.82 billion from the end of last year.

Political risk is the still the nation's weakest point, with Taiwan ranking No. 15 with a score of 60, according to the report.

With cross-strait relations tending toward greater stability, the report predicted that the score will improve to 61 in a year, moving the nation's ranking to 13th position.

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