Foreign direct investment falling sharply this year

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 11

Approved foreign direct investment (FDI) fell sharply in the first eight months of this year, hit hard by the global economic recession that has only begun to ease in recent months.

Approved FDI totaled US$3.39 billion between January and August, down 32 percent from the year-earlier level, statistics released yesterday by the Investment Commission showed.

The commission approved 971 inbound investment projects by overseas Chinese and foreigners during the eight-month period, 26.61 percent fewer than the 1,323 projects approved over the same period last year, the statistics showed.

The decline was in line with a UN World Investment Report 2009 forecast that global FDI inflows this year would continue to contract as a result of a worsening of the financial and economic crisis last year.

The report predicted that Taiwan would experience the sharpest drop among “the four little dragons,” which include Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

The report showed that FDI inflows to developing economies rose by 17 percent to US$621 billion last year, with US$300 billion of that flowing to South, East and Southeast Asia.

It also showed that FDI inflows to Hong Kong, China, India, South Korea and Hong Kong increased last year, but fell 30 percent and 28 percent in Taiwan and Singapore respectively.

Investment Commission statistics show that both the total amount of FDI in Taiwan and the total number of applications approved last year fell compared with the previous year.