Mon, Feb 21, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Japanese firms to increase investment in Taiwan, Lin says

Staff writer, with CNA

A number of Japanese companies have decided to invest in production facilities in Taiwan, in part because of an improving investment environment, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠) said on Saturday after visiting Japan last week.

Lin said during his visit to Japan from Monday to Wednesday as the head of a delegation to attract investment, he received commitments from Japanese companies to possibly invest as much as NT$8 billion (US$272.14 million).

IMPROVED ENVIRONMENT

Many of the firms felt that the Taiwanese investment environment had improved and indicated they were preparing to upgrade their branch offices and increase investments nationwide, Lin said.

Some of the businesses also expressed hopes of cooperating with Taiwanese companies to partner in ventures in the Chinese market, exploiting potential opportunities stemming from the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed by Taiwan and China in June last year.

The ECFA seeks to gradually reduce or eliminate barriers to trade and investment between China and Taiwan’s economies.

SPRINGBOARD TO CHINA

“This shows that Taiwan has become a springboard for foreign companies to tap into the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets,” Lin said.

Among the Japanese investors will be some firms establishing a manufacturing base in Taiwan for the first time, such as Furukawa Electric Co, which would produce copper foil for lithium-ion batteries.

Another firm will be Toray Industries Inc, which has a distribution network in Taiwan, but is now planning to establish a local plant to produce electric materials.

Hokuto Corp, which set up a branch in Taiwan in 2008 to produce edible mushrooms, estimates that it might not be able to meet the needs of the Taiwanese market in two years and is therefore planning to expand production to 26,300 tonnes from the present 9,980 tonnes annually, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

If Taiwan could convince China to further reduce its import duties on mushrooms from Taiwan under the ECFA, Hokuto could use Taiwan as its base of production to tap into the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets, the ministry said.

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