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Tue, Feb 13, 2001 - Page 18 News List

China investment hits high


A national think tank recently reported that Taiwanese investment in China hit a record US$2.7 billion last year.

"Taiwan's mainland investments hit an all-time high last year and grew 108 percent compared with the previous year," Tan Ching-yu, an assistant research fellow at the National Policy Foundation, which is closely linked to the opposition KMT, said yesterday.

Tan also said that most of the China investments were made after the government under President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) took office in May 2000.

"Almost 70 percent of the investments were made in the second half of last year," Tan said.

Moreover, Taiwanese investment in China last year stood at 33 percent of the island's total foreign investments and is expected to rise further this year, she added.

Meanwhile, trade between Taiwan and China has only shown modest change following the Jan. 1 launch of the first direct links in 51years.

The so-called small three links (小三通) cover direct transport, trade and postal services.

Bilateral trade is expected to continue to expand, but Taiwan's Kinmen and Matsu island chains are banned from acting as a trans-shipment point between China and Taiwan due to national security considerations and to protect the Taiwan economy, finance ministry officials said last month.

Indirect Taiwan-China trade has risen sharply since Taipei started allowing civil exchanges in the late 1980s.

Trade between the two sides totalled US$164.99 billion from 1991 to 1999, according to the Board of Foreign Trade.

Taiwanese companies can move funds overseas to holding companies in foreign tax havens to get around the government's US$50 million restrictions and channel funds for investments in China.

Taiwanese investments in China totalled some US$45.7 billion as of June 2000, according to official data from Beijing.

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