Sun, Nov 04, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Most of Taiwan's foreign investment is in China: study

DPA AND CNA , TAIPEI

Some 82 percent of Taiwan's overseas investment is in China because of China's location, cheap labor and business potential, a survey showed yesterday.

A Ministry of Economic Affairs poll of 1,770 Taiwanese manufacturers showed China has become the biggest magnet for investment by the nation's manufacturing industry, which was concentrated in South-East Asia just 10 years ago.

Currently, 82 percent of Taiwanese manufacturers' overseas investment is in China, 16 percent in the US and less than 2 percent in all other countries.

Among the overseas investment by Taiwanese manufacturers, about 30 percent is in electronic components, 10 percent in computer and telecommunications products and 10 percent in metal products.

Among the reasons cited by Taiwanese manufacturers to go overseas are potential for market expansion (60 percent), cheap labor (52 percent), proximity to customers (35 percent) and easy access to raw materials, the poll, which allowed multiple answers, showed.

Despite the trend of moving production abroad, the majority of Taiwanese manufacturers still keep their headquarters and investment focus in Taiwan.

These manufacturers hope the Taiwanese government can help them in overseas investments by proving legal counsel and signing investment protection agreements and agreements on avoiding double taxation with foreign governments.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has worked out a plan to help manufacturers increase exports, under which an additional NT$900 million (US$27.8 million) will be earmarked to reach that goal, an official said on Friday.

Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) made the remarks at a meeting with executives of local small and medium-sized enterprises at a service center in Tainan.

Under an existing export-boosting measure, Chen said, if manufacturers join trade delegations organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to participate in foreign expositions, the government will offer a subsidy of 50 percent for an individual booth or 75 percent for a combined one.

Moreover, TAITRA will arrange for at least 20 foreign buyers to hold business consultations with Taiwanese manufacturers during the exhibition and they also can conduct marketing through an official online system launched by the government, Chen said.

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