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Investment Commission allays fears of 'investor immigrants'

2013/08/21 19:44:04

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) The cross-strait trade-in-services pact will not open a backdoor for "investor immigrants" from China, a government regulatory body said Wednesday.

Addressing concerns over the relaxed rules, the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Investment Commission explained that Chinese investors can only receive multiple entry permits valid for one year if they meet a minimum investment amount.

Permanent residence cards will not be available to those investors, the commission added.

Opposition parties in Taiwan have argued that the services pact could let in a flood of Chinese migrants who would cause upheaval in the local job market and drain public resources such as the National Health Insurance program.

Those concerns have been reinforced by media reports earlier in the day that a Chinese agency is advertising "easy immigration to Taiwan with an investment of 3 million renminbi" (US$490,000).

Despite the rumors, Taiwan will not allow any permanent immigrants from China through investment, the Investment Commission said, citing various rules in place since limited Chinese investment was first allowed in June of 2009.

Regulations stipulate a minimum investment amount of NT$15 million (US$500,000) before foreign individuals are eligible for a one-year multiple entry permit, the commission said. The company invested in must maintain an annual revenue of NT$10 million for the investor's permit to be renewed, it said.

The same rules are in effect for 11 investors from the United States, Canada, and South Korea who are currently in Taiwan.

To ensure that Chinese business owners, managers and workers are following Taiwan's laws and do not constitute a danger to national security, the Investment Commission will work with the Naitonal Immigration Agency to conduct spot-checks and audits of companies receiving Chinese investment, the commission said.

Violators will face deportation and have their investments rescinded, it added.

(By Lin Meng-ju and Wesley Holzer)