Sun, Aug 20, 2006 - Page 11 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Competitiveness
Taiwan ranks No. 2 in Asia

Taiwan's competitiveness ranked second after Hong Kong among 79 Asian economies last year, slipping from first place the previous year, according to a report released on Friday by Singapore's Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). Other economies on the top five list were Singapore, China's Guangdong Province and Malaysia, in that order. In terms of their business environment, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau seized the top three places, in that order. Taiwan placed third in terms of economic environment, government efficiency and social environment, lagging behind Hong Kong and Singapore. The study was conducted by the IPS in cooperation with Nanyang Technological University.

■ FDI

Foreign investment up 386%

Approved investment by overseas Chinese and foreign nationals during the first seven months of this year increased nearly fourfold over the same period last year, Taiwan's Investment Commission reported on Thursday. The commission said it approved 861 investment cases submitted by overseas Chinese and foreign nationals between January and July of this year, valued at a total of US$8.34 billion, up 386 percent from the same period last year. Last month alone there were 195 newly approved cases submitted by overseas Chinese and foreign investors, with the total reaching US$1.4 billion. Figures also showed Taiwanese investment in China increased 31.38 percent in the first seven months of this year, with 601 cases approved, totaling US$3.9 billion, including 82 cases last month totaling US$386.97 million.

■ Trade

Indian official on his way

India's vice minister of commerce and industry in charge of investment, Ajay Dua, will head a trade delegation to Taiwan later this month to seek investment in his country, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. India is the largest country in South Asia, with a population of 1.09 billion. In a period of increased economic exchanges between Taiwan and India, Dua will be the highest-level official within India's government to visit Taiwan in recent years. The delegation will stay in Taiwan from Aug. 31 to Sep. 2. Dua will introduce India's business climate and trade opportunities at a trade seminar on Sept. 1.

■ Banking

Bad loans to be auctioned off

Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行), the nation's second-largest lender, plans to auction NT$30.3 billion (US$928 million) in bad loans, including NT$300 million in credit card debt. The bank announced its board's decision in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange late on Friday, without giving details such as a timetable for the auction. This comes after the Taipei-based lender said on July 24 that the Taiwan branch of FC Capital Management Co, a unit of General Electric Co, won a bid to buy NT$19.2 billion of bad loans from Taiwan Cooperative.

■ Internet

EBay nixes satellite listings

EBay Inc, the world's biggest online auctioneer, deleted postings for the sale of satellite TV dishes from its auction site in China after authorities began a month-long campaign to reinforce the ban of such devices, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Ordinary Chinese aren't allowed to own satellite dishes as officials have forbidden locals from accessing foreign programming since 1993, Xinhua reported.

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