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Investments pledged for Taiwan up 25% in 2018: MOEA

2018/12/26 21:15:32

Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫)

Taipei, Dec. 26 (CNA) Investments pledged for Taiwan grew about 25 percent from a year earlier in 2018, indicating the government's efforts to encourage foreign and local firms to invest paid off, Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said Wednesday.

Citing data compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Kung said a total of NT$2.24 trillion (US$72.73 billion) worth of investments were pledged between Jan. 1 and Dec. 25 by investors, representing a 25 percent increase from NT$1.79 trillion in 2017.

The NT$2.24 trillion comes from 227 projects, each valued at more than NT$500 million, according to the MOEA.

Investments pledged by foreign investors totaled NT$504.90 billion, up 23.29 percent from a year earlier, while locally pledged investments rose 25.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$1.73 trillion, the data showed.

Kung said the figures indicate investment growth picked up this year and he expects that to continue in 2019.

In 2018, investors paid close attention to Taiwan's semiconductor sector after the government launched the "5 plus 2" industrial program, through which Taiwan seeks to establish itself as an "Asian Silicon Valley, Kung said.

The official said investors have gone beyond integrated circuit design, manufacturing, packaging and testing to enter IC production equipment and upstream IC raw material development.

Investments in the local semiconductor industry included U.S.-based Applied Materials Inc's production equipment manufacturing center in the Southern Taiwan Science Park, and U.S. Air Products and Chemicals Inc's industrial gas production site in the Hsinchu Science Park, the data showed.

In addition, Taiwanese memory chip maker Winbond Electronics Corp. is investing NT$335 billion to expand its production capacity in southern Taiwan, the data indicated.

The "5 plus 2" industries refer to seven development projects proposed by the government to transform Taiwan's economic and industrial structure. In addition to the Asian Silicon Valley development, the program also refers to biotech related projects, green energy, smart machinery, defense industries, new agriculture and the circular economy.

Kung said he expects investments in green energy to grow in 2019 as the government pushes renewable energy development, while tech giants such as Microsoft and Google are expected to pledge next year to invest in Taiwan to set up artificial intelligence and training centers.

He said the MOEA has asked its offices overseas to focus more on seeking out new investments for Taiwan next year.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
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