Most US companies operating in Taiwan are optimistic about the nation’s economy and their profit outlooks this year, but voiced grave concerns about energy sufficiency and strict labor rules, a survey released yesterday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) found.
The annual poll of 198 member companies showed that 81 percent are optimistic about revenue growth this year, up from 56.1 percent last year, while 79 percent are upbeat about their three-year outlook.
“The views in this survey are important, because they come from business leaders with broad international experience and valuable expertise in sectors crucial to Taiwan’s continued success,” AmCham chairman Albert Chang (章錦華) told a news conference.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
The trade group of 1,000 members from more than 500 companies plans to create an industry council with the government to help increase foreign investment in Taiwan.
This year, it is to help attract 10 multinational corporations to make Taiwan their operation base in Asia, Chang said, adding that AmCham is working on the details and might provide more details at its annual Hsieh Nien Fan (謝年飯) banquet on March 21.
Ranking US diplomatic officials are also to join the event intended by the trade group to thank Taiwanese government officials for their cooperation with the foreign business community, he said.
US firms have expressed a keen interest in the Internet of Things (IoT), biotechnology and energy businesses, encouraged by the government’s efforts to shore up the “5+2” innovative industries, Chang said.
“Executives feel a sense of urgency for innovation as the world grows more competitive. We hope to begin discussing concrete ways soon,” he said.
However, the chamber raised doubts over the feasibility of Taiwan’s aim to become nuclear free by 2025.
Power supply sufficiency, voltage stability and electricity costs are all vital concerns, with 84.46 percent of respondents worried whether electricity supply can meet demand, the survey found.
AmCham is to push for further revisions to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), as its members feel that current regulations are not flexible enough to meet the needs of a knowledge-based economy, said Seraphim Ma (馬靜如), a senior partner at global law firm Baker McKenzie.
“We welcome the recent revisions, but an overwhelming majority of respondents support further revisions to exempt professional and managerial talent from the rigidities of existing regulations,” Ma said.
About half of the respondents said that labor issues are likely to be a key factor in their decisions on future business expansion in Taiwan.
Member companies were also critical of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying Washington’s foreign policy and trade-related initiatives have put them at a competitive disadvantage in the Asia-Pacific region.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion