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Investments by Taiwan's manufacturers up almost 30% in Q1

2019/06/15 14:38:02

Taipei, June 15 (CNA) Investments made by manufacturers in Taiwan rose almost 30 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Data compiled by the MOEA showed the amount of fixed investments from the local manufacturing sector totaled NT$326.2 billion (US$10.36 billion), up 29.8 percent from a year ago, the highest year-on-year growth since the first quarter of 2011.

Fixed investments refer to funds poured into construction of plants, purchases of production equipment and the building of transportation facilities.

The MOEA said the significant growth in fixed investments in the January-March period is expected to enhance Taiwan's competitive edge in the global market in a longer term.

Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), deputy head of the MOEA's statistics department, said while the economy at home and abroad has been affected by escalating trade friction between the United States and China, manufacturers here still appeared keen to invest.

Wang said manufacturers in the local semiconductor and electronics component industry, in particular, have been mapping out their long term expansion strategies by investing more in the meantime.

In the near future, Wang said, the manufacturing sector is expected to pour more funds into Taiwan due to the government's incentive program, which was launched in January to encourage Taiwanese firms operating overseas, in particular in China, to shift their production back home to avoid the fallout from the trade war.

In the first quarter, the local electronics component industry made NT$214.1 billion in fixed investments, up 44.5 percent from a year earlier, the highest growth among all industries in Taiwan, the data showed. The industry accounted for 65.7 percent of the total fixed investments by the manufacturing sector.

In terms of growth, the metal industry came in second, hitting NT$11.1 billion in investments, up 30.9 percent from a year earlier, ahead of the chemical industry, which enjoyed a 30.6 percent year-on-year increase in investments totaling NT$18 billion, the data indicated.

Looking ahead, the MOEA said a slowdown in the global economy, a saturation of the world's smartphone market and an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing, could impact the growth of fixed investments by the manufacturing sector to some extent in the second quarter.

But with new technologies such as artificial intelligence, high performance computing as well as 5G applications being introduced, the investment growth momentum is expected to pick up in the future, the MOEA said.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
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