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Taiwan world's third-best for investment: research firm

2011/09/01 19:36:32

Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) Taiwan has moved up one notch to tie with Norway as the world's third-best investment destination, behind only Singapore and Switzerland, according to the latest assessment by a U.S.-based research institute.

It was Taiwan's best ranking since 2005 in the Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) rating, which evaluates the world's 50 major countries on the strength of their investment climates, a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) official said.

"Taiwan got a score of 73 points in the BERI's second assessment this year, up one point from the score received in the first assessment and advancing one place in the ranking," said Chien Liang-tsai, an official with the MOEA's Industrial Development and Investment Center.

Overall, Taiwan got a "1B" rating among the surveyed economies, which means the nation has a favorable investment environment, Chien said.

He attributed the advance mainly to the improvements in relations across the Taiwan Strait that have helped lower the political risk for investment in Taiwan.

Citing the latest BERI report, Chien said Taiwan will be able to remain the third-best investment destination in 2012 and until 2016.

In Asia, Taiwan remained the second-best investment place after Singapore, according to the report.

Among the major Asia-Pacific economies, it was ahead of Japan, China, South Korea and Australia.

The BERI surveys the investment climate and competitiveness of 50 economies in April, August and December every year, based on its evaluations of a country's investment environment in terms of three sub-indexes: operational risk, political risk and foreign exchange risk.

According to MOEA data, Taiwan ranked 15th in BERI's political risk rating in 2005 and the ranking moved up to 11th in 2008.

After Taiwan signed the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China in June last year, its political risk ranking remained at 11th, but rose three places to the world's eighth-lowest in the first survey of this year, advancing further to seventh in the latest assessment, thanks largely to steady improvement in cross-strait ties, Chien said.

With regard to the operational risk, the report said Taiwan's business operations climate remains robust and it forecast that investment in infrastructure construction will continue to increase in the next five years.

Fueled by an influx of Chinese tourists, Taiwan's hotel operators, for instance, are expected to invest about NT$77 billion in equipment and service upgrades in the coming three years, it noted.

In the first quarter of this year, Taiwan posted 6.6 percent economic growth, indicating that the country's business climate is quite promising, the BERI report said.

As to foreign exchange risk in terms of both remittances and repatriation, Taiwan's rating remained third-lowest in the world behind only Singapore and Switzerland, the same as its rating in this year's first assessment.

(By Lin Shu-yuan and Sofia Wu)