Private-sector target raised
The government aims to boost the value of new private-sector investment to NT$1.01 trillion (US$30.69 billion) this year, up 11.44 percent from last year, Ministry of Economic Affairs officials said on Friday. Last year, there were 1,689 new private-sector investment projects with a total value of NT$927.62 billion, which exceeded the government's target of NT$903.2 billion, ministry officials said. Investment projects worth a total of NT$936.21 billion were completed last year, which also exceeded the target of NT$700 billion, the officials said. Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) said that new private-sector investment was expected this year in the semiconductor, flat-panel display, chemical, metal manufacturing and logistics industries.
■ Trade fairs
Local firms visit Paperworld
A total of 197 Taiwanese companies are taking part in Paperworld 2007, a leading international fair for stationery and office equipment held in Frankfurt, Germany, from Jan. 24-28, a Taiwan External Trade Development Council spokesman said yesterday. According to the spokesman, the organizer of Paperworld 2007 expects some 100,000 visitors from 70 countries and some 80,000 professional buyers to be drawn to the event. Among non-EU countries, Taiwan has the second-highest number of companies participating in the international fair, behind only China, which has 365 companies taking part.
Firms ditch EU suppliers
European clothing firms are ditching their local suppliers and are opting more and more for cheaper imports from Asia, especially China, according to a French study released on Friday. Around 75 percent of clothes bought by the firms come from outside the EU, with 64 percent from Asia and 36 percent from China alone, the study from the Lille-based French Fashion Institute said. Evelyne Chaballier, one of the report's authors, said that after import tariffs were scrapped on clothes from Asia in 2005 there was an initial spike in the amount of textiles sourced there. This "slide towards Asia" has continued ever since and is set to last on into next year, Chaballier said.
Fox subpoenas YouTube
YouTube said on Friday that it received a subpoena from Twentieth Century Fox demanding it reveal who posted unaired episodes of 24 and The Simpsons on the video-sharing Web site. Fox wants YouTube to disclose enough information for it to figure out who uploaded the shows and "stop this infringing activity," according to an excerpt of the subpoena posted online. In May of last year, before being bought by Google in a US$1.65 billion stock deal, YouTube went along with a Paramount Pictures demand that it reveal who posted a 12-minute clip from the show Twin Towers.
Wal-Mart exploring Japan
US retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc will explore more opportunities for corporate acquisitions in Japan, vice chairman Michael Duke said in an interview published yesterday. Duke, who oversees Wal-Mart's international operations, welcomed Japan's recent deregulation allowing foreign companies to use their local subsidiaries to acquire Japanese firms through stock swaps, according to the Nikkei newspaper.