Returning bosses looking north


Fri, May 30, 2008 - Page 11

Northern Taiwan has been the most popular location for an increasing number of Taiwanese businesspeople who have returned from China to set up factories in Taiwan, real estate agents said.

“Many China-based Taiwanese businesspeople have returned home since China implemented the Labor Contract Law at the start of this year,” said Chen Hsi-chung (陳錫琮), general manager of H&B Realty Franchise System Co (住商不動產), on Wednesday.

Under the law, labor costs in China have increased by 10 percent to 40 percent, while real estate prices have risen in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, where many Taiwanese businesspeople are located, Chen said.

Production costs for China-based Taiwanese businesses would rise an estimated 20 percent to 30 percent on average, forcing Taiwanese businesspeople to either restructure operations or relocate, Chen said.

Ministry of Economic Affairs statistics show that the ministry received 102 investment applications from returning China-based Taiwanese businessmen by the end of last year.

Many returning Taiwanese businesspeople have expressed an interest in developing factories in northern Taiwan, even though property prices are more expensive than in central and southern Taiwan, Chen said.

For example, the Nangang Software Park (南港軟體園區) in Taipei has attracted heavy attention, while traditional industrial zones in Taipei County’s Wugu (五股) and Shulin (樹林) townships are the most popular locations among returning Taiwanese businesspeople, Chen said.

Industrial zones in Taoyuan County — where an international airport is located and where plans are afoot for a special airport zone to boost the economy and international competitiveness — are also a favorite choice among returning businesspeople, Chen added.

Many returning businesspeople are also eying an industrial area in Taichung City, said Yen Yao-chi (顏曜智), head of the company’s Taichung branch office.

Yeh predicted that central Taiwan would attract more businesses because an airport in the city has been chosen as one of the bases for direct weekend charter flights between Taiwan and China.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government has been pushing for the opening of weekend direct cross-strait flights, aiming for implementation as early as the beginning of July.