MOEA signs letters of intent with 32 international companies

By Grace Soong ,The China Post

The China Post–It is estimated that the total amount of foreign investments in Taiwan would reach NT$50 billion in the next three years while job openings multiply, according to the Ministry Economic Affairs (MOEA), yesterday, as it signed letters of intent with 32 international enterprises, in Taipei.

So as to build Taiwan into the global and Asia-Pacific innovation and strategy hub, the MOEA held the 2011 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), during which President Ma Ying-jeou emphasized that “This is the perfect timing to invest in Taiwan.” “The government had worked to provide enterprises in Taiwan a peaceful environment for investments, and our economical cooperation with mainland China had further stimulated opportunities,” Ma said, emphasizing that his administration would continue to develop Taiwan so as to offer an even safer and more stable investing environment.

The economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) Taiwan signed with mainland China in 2010 had redefined Taiwan’s economical status globally, Ma said. After signing the ECFA, Taiwan also negotiated over free trade agreement issues with Singapore, and signed an historic investment pact with Japan.

According to Ma, the success rate of Japanese enterprises in mainland China is 68 percent were they to enter the market single-handedly; if they cooperated with Taiwanese enterprises, however, the success rate would raise 10 percent, to 78 percent.

Ma also pointed out Taiwan’s geographical advantage: while South Korea is located in Northeast Asia and Singapore in Southeast Asia, Taiwan serves as the center of Asia and East Asia — no flights from Taiwan to any major city in Asia takes longer than four hours, he said.

Also, direct flights are available from Taipei Songshan Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, making Taiwan part of the golden triangle of Asia. Ma noted that direct flights from Songshan Airport to Seoul, Korea, would be added in the future, which would further increase the investment value of Taiwan. Deals Include Companies from Asia-Pacific, US, Europe A total of 32 domestic as well as international enterprises signed letters of intent with the MOEA at the conference yesterday, including nine from the United States, seven from Japan, nine from Europe, three from the Asian regions, and one each from Canada, Argentine, Australia, Cayman Islands. Responding to questions that the total value of potential investments in the next three years is said to be about NT$50 billion is only half of last year’s NT100 billion, “The number is just for reference,” Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said.

Most investors are unwilling to reveal the amount they intend to put in, Shi pointed out, explaining that the NT$50 billion estimate was only based on the current data, which was not reflective and did not carry much weight.

Taiwan is still looking for additional investors from the U.S. and European countries, despite their depressing economic situations. The focus, however, would be on Japan: Taiwan has the advantage of being geographically close to Japan, and it shares a positive past in economic cooperation with the fellow island nation, Shi emphasized.