Thu, Sep 26, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Possible labor-law easing sparks investment drive

RELAXING RULES:The government’s plans to allow firms to employ more foreign workers has led to a flurry of investment, with five companies announcing big projects

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Five Taiwanese companies are planning to invest NT$107.83 billion (US$3.65 billion) locally after the government said it would agree to raise the ratio of foreign workers in an enterprise to 40 percent of its total workforce to help solve firms’ labor shortage problems, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday.

The current five-tier system stipulates that the percentage of foreigners firms employ cannot exceed 10 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent of the total workforce, depending on the sector.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光), the world’s biggest chip packager, is planning to invest NT$92.7 billion on five new buildings in Greater Kaohsiung’s Nanzih District (楠梓), the ministry said.

ASE expects all construction to be completed within the next two years, with one of the buildings to become operational next quarter, the ministry said.

Two of the buildings — a research center and an advanced testing and packaging factory — are expected to be finished next year, ASE has said.

Tire maker Kenda Rubber Industrial Co (建大輪胎) said it is to invest NT$10 billion to build a factory in Changhua County capable of producing 20,000 to 25,000 car tires a year.

The factory would boost Kenda’s total annual production to as much as 33,000 tires, the company said.

Kenda chairman Yang Ying-ming (楊銀明) said he hopes the land for the factory will be ready in January next year and construction completed within two years.

Meanwhile, Eminent Luggage Corp (萬國通路) is to invest NT$2 billion in Greater Tainan to build a factory to increase its production capacity by 1.8 million suitcases a year, the ministry said.

“To protect our technological know-how, we decided to make suitcases in Taiwan instead of in China, since Taiwan has a stronger technology barrier,” Eminent president Dick Hsieh (謝明振) said.

Also joining the investment drive is nonwoven manufacturer Nan Liu Enterprise Co Ltd (南六), which said it is going to put NT$3 billion toward building a plant in Greater Kaohsiung capable of generating 1,000 tonnes of medical-grade nonwovens a year.

Nan Liu is aiming to complete the factory by the end of 2015, which would increase its overall capacity to produce medical-grade nonwovens to 1,800 tonnes a year, the company said.

Game developer XPEC Entertainment Inc (樂陞科技) said it has allocated NT$125 million to build an art center at the Pier 2 Arts Center in Greater Kaohsiung.

The company said it has set the second quarter of next year as the target date for the completion of the center, which it expects to generate NT$300 million a year from 2017.

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