Fri, Jan 13, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Council signs infrastructure memorandum

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu and Ben Way, senior managing director of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, hold up copies of the newly signed memorandum of understanding at the council’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), a leading global alternative asset manager specializing in infrastructure funds, for future investments in Taiwan.

MIRA, currently managing 91 infrastructure businesses in 23 countries worldwide through its 31 infrastructure funds, promised to continue investing in Taiwanese infrastructure projects in the next four to eight years.

“In terms of this MOU, the council will assist MIRA to understand the whole picture of Taiwan’s infrastructure and regulatory environment,” Council of Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) said at the signing ceremony in Taipei.

The “i-Taiwan 12 Projects” launched by the government in 2009, which call for total infrastructure spending estimated at NT$3.99 trillion (US$132.99 billion), with private investment of about NT$1.2 trillion, could be the fund’s investment focus, Liu said.

Vice Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), who also attended to the ceremony, suggested MIRA should invest in three projects falling under his ministry.

They are: the first phase of the Ports of Kaohsiung International Container Terminal, in need of a NT$60 billion investment; the Keelung Harbor Urban Renewal Project, which needs NT$13.3 billion; and the Taoyuan Air City Development Plan, which is seeking NT$40 billion to NT$50 billion in private investment as part of the estimated total of NT$300 billion, Yeh said.

Ben Way, MIRA’s senior managing director, said the fund was keeping an open-mind to all kinds of potential investment opportunities in Taiwan’s infrastructure, as it believes that Taiwan would be a relatively good investment market amid the current challenging global economic conditions.

However, Way refused to specify how much the fund plans to invest in Taiwan in the next four to eight years.

MIRA, a division of Macquarie Group Ltd, has already invested about US$1 billion in Taiwanese infrastructure businesses over seven years, including in Miaoli Wind Co Ltd (苗栗風力), Taiwan Broadband Communications (台灣寬頻) and Hanjin Shipping Kaohsiung Container Terminal (韓進海運碼頭).

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