Foreign investment in the first quarter increased 40 percent and local procurement by foreign companies surged 109 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The ministry, in cooperation with economic agencies, through its more than 100 overseas offices helped attract foreign investment totaling US$350 million in the first three months of the year, compared with US$250 million in the same period last year, it said.
Local procurement by foreign companies totaled US$230 million in the first quarter, up from US$110 million a year earlier, it added.
Trade with the nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy increased 5 percent year-on-year from US$26.09 billion to US$27.37 billion, the ministry said.
The policy was launched by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in 2016 to enhance exchanges with the 10 ASEAN members, as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia.
The ministry’s overseas offices promoted economic and trade relations with the policy’s target nations, it said, and their efforts helped Taiwanese companies win the bids for five projects worth about US$1.65 million.
The ministry has also set up demonstration farms in Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as a model mushroom farm in the northern Philippines, it said.
To strengthen bilateral economic relations, the ministry helped facilitate the passage of 16 Taiwan-friendly resolutions and laws in the US, including the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act, which encourages the US trade representative to improve trade and economic relations with Taiwan, it said.
It also facilitated the signing of 12 economic agreements or memorandums of understanding with several other nations, such as an agreement on mutual recognition of organic products between Taiwan and New Zealand, as well as the Taiwan-Australia Organic Equivalency Arrangement, it added.
The ministry used information and communication technology, biomedical technology and green energy as the major pillars to improve Taiwan’s international cooperation with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
“The ministry will continue to collaborate with related government agencies in watching international trends in economic and trade developments, to export the Taiwan experience and explore more potential opportunities for Taiwan’s industries,” the statement said.
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