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German companies optimistic about remaining in Taiwan: poll

2019/01/21 12:22:37

German Trade Office Executive Director Axel Limberg

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) Most German companies in Taiwan see the country as an attractive business destination and will continue to do business here in 2019, according to a survey released Monday by the German Trade Office in Taipei.

The Business Confidence Survey 2018 showed that the majority of German companies expect the Taiwanese economy to remain flat in 2019, while 30.1 percent think it will improve.

Around one fourth of them, however, are concerned that both the Taiwanese economy and their own industry will worsen, the poll found.

At a press event to speak about the survey, German Trade Office Executive Director Axel Limberg said the majority of German companies in Taiwan will continue to operate and invest in the country in 2019, which indicates that Taiwan is still perceived as an attractive business location.

However, "we see some dark clouds on the horizon," Limberg said, referring to the challenges German businesses in Taiwan may face.

One of the biggest challenges is political stability, he said, citing the survey, which showed that 46 percent of German companies in Taiwan are worried about the strained relations across the Taiwan Strait.

German companies are calling on Taiwan government to improve political stability, which means sticking to its long-term commitment to projects and agreed time schedules, Limberg said.

Other areas of concern to German investors in Taiwan include bureaucracy and administrative hurdles, participation in public tenders, the lack of a fair trade agreement, and the absence of investment protection agreements, he said, citing the poll.

In addition, many German companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit qualified workers, Limberg said, adding that the Taiwan government needs to address that issue in order to continue to attract foreign investment.

He said one of the suggestions his office has made regarding the recruitment issue is that Taiwan should look at its education system with a view to enhancing vocational training.

Currently, there are around 250 German companies operating in Taiwan, most of which are small and medium sized enterprises, employing a total of 15,000 workers, according to the German Trade Office in Taipei.

About one-third of the companies participated in the survey, which was conducted last year between Oct. 28 and Nov. 26, the office said.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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