Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Taiwan this year is likely to reach a record after US$10.21 billion was approved in the first 11 months, up 19.97 percent from the same period last year, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed.
“The US-China trade war has negatively affected foreign investment in Asian countries this year, but Taiwan bucked the downtrend with growth of nearly 20 percent, while it is worth noting that China’s foreign investment increased by only 6 percent during the same period,” the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed ministry official.
The FDI increase was mainly driven by investments from semiconductor, wind power and Internet companies, including US DRAM chipmaker Micron Technology Inc’s US$2.12 billion investment in its Taiwan subsidiary, Google’s US$835 billion investment in a second data center in Taiwan, as well as funds from wind farm developers Wpd AG and Orsted Wind Power TW Holding A/S, the official said.
Approved investments increased by 10.62 percent year-on-year to 3,968 during the January-to-November period, the Investment Commission said in a statement on Friday.
FDI is measured based on the investment activity of foreign firms, such as the incorporation of a subsidiary or joint venture, a cash injection into a local unit, or mergers or stake acquisitions of domestic firms. Taiwan’s FDI excludes investments from China.
The commission’s data showed that there were 135 cases of Chinese investment approved in the first 11 months, with a combined total of US$94.29 million, an annual increase of 3.85 percent in the number of cases, but a decrease of 56.15 percent in funding.
Approved investment in the first 11 months from countries that are part of the government’s New Southbound Policy jumped 166 percent to US$897 million, boosted by marked rises in investment from Australia and Singapore, the commission said.
In terms of outbound investment, excluding to China, in the 11-month period, 628 projects were registered that involved US$6.22 billion combined, an annual increase of 9.41 percent in number of cases, but a decrease of 51.47 percent in funding, the commission said, citing a high comparison base a year earlier.
There were 558 applications approved for outward investment to China in the first 11 months, down 12 percent annually, the commission said.
The approved investment amount decreased 53 percent to US$3.72 billion from a year earlier, which the ministry attributed to the impact of the trade dispute with the US on China’s economy.
Outbound investment to New Southbound Policy countries plunged 51.47 percent year-on-year to US$6.22 billion, which the ministry blamed on a high comparison base and the trade dispute.
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