Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) In addition to consistently supporting Taiwan on the political front internationally, the Netherlands has also been the largest foreign investor in the country for the first eight months of this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Thursday.
From January to August, the Netherlands was the largest foreign investor in Taiwan channeling US$2.158 billion into the country, according to the latest tallies compiled by the MOEA's Investment Commission (MOEA).
That figure accounted for 33.11 percent of total investment by foreign investors during the period, well ahead of the amount from British dependent territories in the Caribbean (16.64 percent) in second place and Japan's 15.32 percent in third, the statistics indicate.
MOEA officials ascribed this to expanded investment in Taiwan from the Netherlands and growing investment from other countries via hubs in the West European country.
Trade relations between Taiwan and the Netherlands started 400 years ago, when the Dutch East India Company opened a trade station in Tainan, they noted.
In modern times, the two countries started cooperating in the semiconductor industry about 40 years ago, when Royal Dutch Philips Electronics Ltd. set up a plant in an export processing zone in Taiwan as a base to tap into the Asia-Pacific market, MOEA officials said.
Investment by the Netherlands has continued to increase in recent years, especially in the field of semiconductors, consumer goods and the chemical industry, they said.
Of 13 foreign companies that recently inked letters of intent with the MOEA, three were Dutch, including ASML Holding N.V., the largest supplier of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry in the world, NXP Semiconductors N.V., a global Dutch semiconductor manufacturer, and DSM-AGI Corp., they noted.
Thanks to Taiwan's state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and comprehensive protection of intellectual property, ASML is planning to set up an EUV (extreme ultraviolet) training center in the country, bringing in the most advanced equipment and high-end professionals, while DSM-AGI will invest an additional NT$3 billion over the next two years and create 120 job opportunities, they said.
On Tuesday, the Netherlands' House of Representatives passed a motion calling on its government to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations, the first such resolution in the body's history.