Taiwan would liberalize banking and investment rules to establish itself as a regional financial hub, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Taiwan Capital Market Forum in Taipei yesterday.
Recent world events could be an opening for Taiwan to become an international center for business investments and financial management, Tsai said at the forum, which was organized by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister publication of the Taipei Times).
“We’re facing unknowns in the world right now, including the continuing impact of US-China trade tensions and the reorganization of the global supply chain after COVID-19,” Tsai said. “These bring new challenges and opportunities.”
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Tsai said that Taiwan has two major advantages.
“First, our transparent laws and efficient courts are appealing to international businesses. Second, our comprehensive financial institutions,” she said.
In addition, dividend yields are high in Taiwan, transactions are stable and transparent, and compared with surrounding countries, the liquidity of Taiwan’s capital markets is high, Tsai said.
The ratio of foreign investors holding Taiwanese equities is at a historic high, at 41.2 percent as of the end of last year, Tsai said.
There are 1,717 publicly traded companies in Taiwan with a combined value NT$39.84 trillion (US$1.35 trillion), up 106 percent and 331 percent respectively from 2000, she said.
“While the world’s stock markets are all affected by COVID-19, Taiwan’s market hit a 30-year high. It is clear to see we are increasingly favored by foreign investors,” she said.
However, market liberalization would be the key to attract banks and other investment institutions to set up shop in Taiwan amid a government goal to make the nation Asia’s top destination for business financing, Tsai said.
“We are going to make Taiwan the No. 1 center in Asia for capital movement. In the future, we are going to relax rules for international finance institutions to establish offshore banking units [OBU] in Taiwan and make it more convenient to use foreign currencies. With more OBUs in Taiwan, we will be able to strengthen manufacturing development with all that capital,” she said.
“Secondly, we also wish to establish ourselves as a wealth management center,” Tsai said. “This means loosening rules and providing more diversified financial products and services. We can expand the scale of wealth management businesses, and attract more international institutions and capital to Taiwan.”
Tsai said that some businesses have been unable to go public as planned due to profit being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re working with those businesses proactively, loosening requirements and helping them obtain loans to get back on their feet,” she said.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told the forum that Taiwan has taken advantage of the US-China trade dispute by encouraging investment.
“There has been more than NT$1 trillion in investment in Taiwan since last year’s rise in US-China trade tensions,” Su said. “According to last month’s international assessments, Taiwan is the safest investment environment in Asia, and third in the world, after Switzerland and Norway."
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South