With plentiful natural and human resources and cheap land costs, Eastern Europe offers a shortcut for Taiwanese businesses into the EU market, according to a report by the Chung Hua Institute for Economic Research (CIER).
The report said that the entry of 10 countries, including Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, into the EU in 2004 represented a market expansion for businesses maintaining trade with Central and Eastern European countries.
As customs duties of Eastern European countries have generally declined after joining the EU, more Taiwanese enterprises could explore business opportunities there, the report said.
It added that the abundant natural resources, outstanding basic industry and high-tech talent, cheap land and labor costs, geographical location and preferential policies offered by Eastern European countries contribute to making the region a shortcut for Taiwanese enterprises intending to gain access to the European market and develop technology-intensive industries.
As of the end of December, Taiwanese investment projects in Eastern Europe were mainly located in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, with electronics and electrical appliance manufacturing being the major fields of investment.
With 18 projects, Hungary had the largest number of individual investments. The investments ranged from sports equipment and ready-to-wear clothing to food, bicycles and furniture, according to the report.
The CIER suggested that the government encourage and assist more Taiwanese businesses to set up operations in Eastern Europe to supply and serve the vast Western European market.