ECFA attracting foreign firms to Taiwan: Siew


TAIPEI — The cross-Taiwan Strait economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) has helped attract foreign companies seeking to set up R&D centers in Taiwan, with nine such applications having been received so far this year, Vice President Vincent Siew said yesterday. Three of the applicants, including computer firms IBM and HP, have already obtained approval from the Taiwanese authorities, Siew said in Taipei during an address to the 10th annual conference of the Asian Corporate Governance Association.

According to Siew, besides Taiwan’s strong manufacturing strength, the country’s improved ties with China have provided another incentive encouraging foreign companies to launch R&D operations in Taiwan.

Another immediate benefit of the ECFA is revitalizing Taiwan’s capital market, which is attracting foreign firms to list Taiwan depositary receipts (TDRs) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, he said.

While only a very small number of foreign companies had issued TDRs as of late 2009, the situation has changed since the ECFA talks began, the vice president said, noting that Singapore-based instant coffee firm Super Group and China’s Yangzijiang Shipbuilding are among the companies that have done so over the past several months.