Investment by the local machinery sector in the first four months of this year rose more than 70 percent from a year earlier as a result of growing business opportunities after implementation of a major trade pact across the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Saturday.
In addition, it said, the devastating March 11 earthquake that hit Japan has prompted many international buyers to place orders with Taiwanese machinery makers instead of their Japanese counterparts, which has also prompted the local machinery sector to raise investment to meet demand.
In the four-month period, investment from the machinery industry totaled NT$38.06 billion (US$1.32 billion), up 73.3 percent from the same period of last year, the ministry said.
Among the major investors during the period were Hiwin Technologies Corp (上銀), Tungpei Industrial Co (東培), Fair Friend Group (友嘉) and Keyarrow (Taiwan) Co (台灣引興), the ministry said.
The significant investment growth reflected the sector’s optimism toward business benefits to be created by the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) Taiwan and China signed last year, the ministry said.
The ministry said that on the back of closer ties across the Taiwan Strait, the local business sector is gearing up to expand operations in an attempt to take a share of the booming China market.
Under the ECFA, an early harvest list grants preferential tariff status and easier market access to China for 539 products and services from Taiwan. However, the machinery sector is not included on the early harvest list.
The ministry said the government was trying to seek consensus with China through further negotiation to include machinery products and components on the list.
Meanwhile, new investments planned by the private sector in the first four months totaled NT$501.2 billion, which accounted for 45.56 percent of a NT$1.1 trillion goal set by the government, the ministry said.