Violence could move Taiwan investments home from Vietnam

05/14/2014 11:38 PM
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Taipei, May 14 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said it was closely monitoring the situation in Vietnam, as anti-China protests turned violent threated to drive Taiwanese investors to leave the southeast Asian country.

The government will monitor the decisions made by Taiwanese companies operating there, MOEA Department of Investment Services Director-General Lien Yu-ping told the press Wednesday.

Over the past several years, the MOEA has been pushing for Taiwanese businesses overseas to bring their investments home. The efforts could possibly show results after mounting anti-China sentiment that has led to attacks on foreign companies in southern Vietnam.

Lien said that many Taiwanese businesses had moved their investments to Vietnam from China due to changes in policies and the investment environment that made China a less attractive location.

As a result, Vietnam has more Taiwanese money invested than any other Southeast Asian country, she said.

She said she felt "very much pained" by the attacks on Taiwanese factories, as Vietnam is one of the most important business bases for Taiwanese companies.

The Tuesday attacks were mainly targeted at Chinese-invested factories and other facilities carrying Chinese-language signboards or with Chinese-speaking workers, meaning Taiwanese companies were also targeted.

Taiwanese firms invested US$27.3 billion in Vietnam in 2,301 projects from 1988 to March of this year, making Taiwan the fourth largest source of foreign investment in the country, according to Vietnamese government data.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/WH

(Click here for developments related to the anti-China protest-turned-riot in Vietnam.)

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