Fri, Dec 28, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Pledged investments grew 25% to NT$2.24tn this year

Staff writer, with CNA

Investments pledged for Taiwan grew about 25 percent this year, showing that the government’s efforts to attract investments from foreign and local firms have paid off, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said on Wednesday.

A total NT$2.24 trillion (US$72.72 billion) in investments were pledged between Jan. 1 and Tuesday, up from NT$1.79 trillion last year, Kung said, citing Ministry of Economic Affairs data.

The amount comes from 227 projects, each valued at more than NT$500 million, the ministry said.

Investments pledged by foreign investors totaled NT$504.90 billion, up 23.29 percent, while locally pledged investments grew 25.5 percent to NT$1.73 trillion, the data showed.

Investment growth picked up this year, Kung said, adding that he expects the trend to continue next year.

Investors paid close attention to the semiconductor sector after the government launched the “five plus two” innovative industries plan to establish Taiwan as an “Asian Silicon Valley,” Kung said.

Investors have gone beyond IC design, manufacturing, packaging and testing, to enter IC production equipment and upstream IC raw materials development, he said.

Investments in the semiconductor industry included a production equipment manufacturing center built by US-based Applied Materials Inc in the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區) and US Air Products and Chemicals Inc’s industrial gas production site in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), the data showed.

In addition, Taiwanese memorychip maker Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電) is investing NT$335 billion to expand its production capacity in southern Taiwan, the data showed.

The “five plus two” industries refer to seven development projects proposed by the government to transform the Taiwan’s economic and industrial structure.

In addition to the Asian Silicon Valley project, the program also refers to biotech-related projects, green energy, smart machinery, the defense industry, innovative agriculture and the circular economy.

Kung said he expects investments in green energy to grow next year as a government push for renewable energy development continues, while tech giants such as Microsoft Corp and Google are expected to pledge investments in Taiwan to establish artificial intelligence and training centers.

The ministry has asked its overseas offices to focus on finding new investments, he added.

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