Foreign direct investments in Taiwan drop more than 18%

01/20/2021 08:56 PM
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Taipei. CNA file photo
Taipei. CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) Approved foreign direct investments (FDI) in Taiwan fell more than 18 percent in 2020, amid COVID-19, but were the fourth highest in the past decade, the Investment Commission said Wednesday.

According to data released by the commission, the government approved a total of US$9.14 billion in FDI in 2020, an annual decline of 18.32 percent.

The figure, however, was the fourth highest in the past 10 years, after US$11.4 billion in 2018, US$11.2 billion in 2019, and US$11.0 billion in 2016, the commission said.

The 18.32 percent decline in Taiwan's FDI was less than the 40 percent plunge worldwide estimated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Taiwan doing relatively well in the fight against COVID-19, foreign investors continued to pour funds into the country in 2020, according to the commission.

In 2020, Taiwan approved 3,418 applications for foreign investments, down 17 percent from a year earlier, the commission said.

Among the countries listed in Taiwan's New Southbound Policy, investments declined 65.23 percent from a year earlier to US$380 million, and the number of approved applications fell 20.16 percent to 515, according to the commission's data.

The Southbound Policy aims to reinforce economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, India, Australia and New Zealand, in a bid to reduce dependence on China.

The steep decline in investments from those countries largely reflected a high comparison base in 2019, when the Taiwan government approved investments by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Singapore's DBS Bank of NT$16 billion (US$561 million) and NT$2.25 billion, respectively, the commission said.

Meanwhile, approved investments from China increased by an annual 29.98 percent to US$126 million in 2020, after Hong Kong-based Garuda International Ltd. and China-invested Nexperia B.V. in the Netherlands pumped NT$1.5 billion and NT$240 million, respectively, into Taiwan's tech sector, the commission said.

Since Taiwan lifted a ban on Chinese investments in 2009, it has approved US$2.41 billion in funds from China, according to the commission.

As for Taiwan's investments in China, the approved amount in 2020 totaled US$5.9 billion, up 41.54 percent from a year earlier, the commission said.

Approved investments by Taiwanese companies in other countries soared in 2020 by an annual 72.31 percent to US$11.8 billion, with contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. accounting for US$3.5 billion with its investments in the American state of Arizona, the commission said.

(By Liang Pei-chi and Frances Huang)

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