Mon, Jun 14, 2010 - Page 12 News List

MOEA tries to lure Taiwanese home

TOO EXPENSIVEHon Hai chairman Terry Gou said that his company would combat increases in Chinese wages by moving some of its productions lines back to Taiwan

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following the recent wage increases in China, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is scheduled to hold an investment summit tomorrow aimed at luring more China-based Taiwanese firms to invest at home.

The ministry also hopes the one-day summit at the Taipei International Convention Center can show overseas Taiwanese businesspeople how to take advantage of the nation’s research and development.

“With the economic pact between Taiwan and China, more Taiwanese firms will increase their presence locally,” Ling Chia-yuh (凌家裕), ­director-general of the ministry’s investment services department, told reporters on Friday.

Some homegrown companies actually gained fame by expanding into China, but they have been there for too long and need ­government ­assistance to navigate the investment environment there, Ling said. Officials said the department had seen a surge in inquiries from overseas Taiwanese businesses asking about financing, tax rebates and land allocation, to better diversify their risks by increasing investments in Taiwan.

The rise in inquiries came after Hon Hai Group (鴻海), which operates under the “Foxconn” (富士康) brand and is the world’s biggest ­contract electronics parts maker, and Japanese carmaker Honda raised their Chinese workers’ pay to cope with labor disputes in the past few weeks.

Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) told shareholders on June 8 that the group planned to combat the higher wages in China by moving some production lines to Taiwan if the government could provide Hon Hai with attractive labor and other terms at proposed free-trade port areas and special economic zones.

“It is obvious that the labor cost [in China] is no longer low,” the General Chamber of Commerce (全國商業總會) said in a statement on Friday.

“Taiwanese businesses have lost their advantages in setting up factories in China ... Many companies are thinking about relocating some of their production lines back to Taiwan,” the Taipei-based business association said in the statement.

Ling said on Friday that Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp (康師傅控股), a Taiwanese-owned company that is the biggest maker of instant noodles in China, is also mulling expanding its production lines in Taiwan and transporting goods from Taiwan to its markets in central and southern China to save costs.

Speakers at tomorrow’s summit will include government and private sector officials, such as spokespeople from optical product maker Ginko International Co (金可國際), carmaker Yulon Group (裕隆集團) and tech gadget retailer CyberMart (賽博數碼).

There will also be consultancy services available for overseas Taiwanese companies on how to apply for a primary listing on Taiwan’s bourse or a secondary listing by issuing Taiwan Depository Receipts (TDRs), the officials said.

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