More businesses closed in Taiwan last year than the previous year, the latest statistics compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) showed, with the number of companies registered with the government falling by more than 20,000 as of November from a year ago.
As of the end of November, 578,815 companies were registered with the government, down from 599,521 at the end of 2007, MOEA statistics showed.
It was the first time that the number had dipped below 580,000. At the end of 2001 the figure was at 582,537, the MOEA said, attributing the low figure to the burst of the Internet bubble that year.
The MOEA predicted that the figure would be lower once last month’s closures were tallied.
MOEA officials attributed the decrease in registered companies to the financial crunch that has swept the globe.
During the first 11 months of last year, there were 27,824 applications for new businesses, representing an annual contraction of 10.4 percent, MOEA tallies showed. A total of 29,921 new companies opened for the whole of 2001.
A total of 155 companies applied for government funds to help them tackle financial difficulties during the period from Sept. 30 to Wednesday, with around 74 percent of them classified as small or medium-sized businesses, MOEA statistics showed.