Mon, Oct 20, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Business Alliance 2003: Meeting smooths way to investment

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Taiwan Business Alliance Conference is expected to bring at least 15 new investment agreements to the nation, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday.

Those investments will come from Japan's Asahi Glass Co, Toppan Printing Inc and NTT DoCoMo Inc as well as Corning Inc and Dupont Co of the US, Infineon Technologies AG of Germany and Cerberus Asia Capital Management of Thailand, Shih said.

NTT DoCoMo, the largest mobile service operator in Japan, plans to strengthen cooperation in providing third-generation service with Taiwanese partners by having local companies manufacture handsets enabling "i-mode" service, Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) said earlier last week.

Toppan Printing Co, the world's No. 1 supplier of color filters used in flat-panel displays, also started to build a Taiwanese factory to produce color filters, Shih said.

Color filters account for about 15 percent of manufacturing costs for flat-panel makers, which rely heavily on the Tokyo-based company for color filters.

In addition, "there will be announcements made for 13 investment projects including research and development [R&D] facilities in Taiwan," Shih said.

Personal computer makers Dell Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co, and IBM Corp were among the multinational firms, which already set up a research and development center here, or were preparing to have one, he added.

The conference, which started yesterday, will end on Wednesday.

In order to attract as much foreign investment as possible, the government will also display investment opportunities on the sidelines of the international business alliance conference.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said last week at a technology summit forum that the government will offer more than NT$400 billion (US$11.81 billion) worth of business opportunities to international manufacturers during the conference to create an "irreplaceable edge" for Taiwan.

According to the conference's organizers, 19 out of the nation's 21 counties will have booths outside the conference venue to showcase investment opportunities in their areas. In addition, private companies will showcase themselves in the hope of attracting the attention of their foreign counterparts.

As a result, the number of stalls has increased from the initially planned 90 to 183, organizers said.

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