The Netherlands was the largest foreign investor in the country in the first eight months of this year, channeling US$2.158 billion into Taiwan, the Ministry of Economics Affairs’ (MOEA) Investment Commission said on Thursday.
That figure accounted for 33.11 percent of total investment by foreign investors during the period, well ahead of British dependent territories in the Caribbean (16.64 percent), which came second, and Japan (15.32 percent), which was third, the commission’s statistics showed.
MOEA officials ascribed this to increased investment from the Netherlands and growing investment from other countries via hubs in the West European country.
Trade relations between Taiwan and the Netherlands began 400 years ago, when the Dutch East India Co opened a trade station in Tainan, officials said.
In modern times, the two countries started cooperating in the semiconductor industry about 40 years ago, when Royal Dutch Philips Electronics Ltd set up a plant in an export processing zone in Taiwan to tap into the Asia-Pacific market, they said.
Investment by the Netherlands has continued to increase in the past few years, especially in the semiconductor, consumer goods and chemical sectors, they said.
Of 13 foreign firms that last week inked letters of intent with the ministry, three were Dutch, including ASML Holding NV, NXP Semiconductors NV and DSM-AGI Corp.
ASML aims to set up an extreme ultraviolet training center in Taiwan, bringing in advanced equipment and high-end professionals, while DSM-AGI is to invest NT$3 billion over the next two years and create 120 jobs, the ministry said.
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