Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Hokuto to increase its investment

GROWTH OPPORTUNITY:The Japanese mushroom grower is considering investing US$43 million to expand production here to tap the Chinese and ASEAN markets

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Hokuto Corp, a Japanese listed company that produces mushrooms, will sign a letter of intent today to increase its investment in Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement yesterday.

Hokuto president Masayoshi Mizuno will represent the Japanese firm in signing the pact with Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Liang (梁國新) in Taipei, the ministry said.

Department of Investment Services director-general Ling Chia-yuh (凌家裕) said last week that Hokuto would likely invest NT$1.25 billion (US$43.1 million) to expand its production in Taiwan.

Hokuto is among 30 foreign companies that have expressed an -interest in boosting investment in Taiwan, with many of them planning to sign letters of intent with the ministry at a Taiwan investment summit in October, the ministry said.

Headquartered in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, Hokuto set up a branch at the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park (屏東農業生物技術園區) in southern Taiwan in 2008.

In March, the company upgraded its Taiwanese branch into a wholly owned subsidiary — Taiwan Hokuto Corp (台灣北斗生技公司) with a paid-in capital of NT$700 million — to focus on the production and marketing of edible mushrooms.

The ministry said that if Taiwan could reach a cross-strait intellectual property rights protection pact with China under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, Hokuto could use Taiwan as its base of production to tap into the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.

To meet that goal, Hokuto would invest NT$1.25 billion to further expand its annual mushroom production in Taiwan to 3,200 tonnes from the present 1,100 tonnes and create 70 jobs, the ministry said.

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