TAIPEI (CNA) – Approved investment in Taiwan from countries targeted by the New Southbound Policy rose nearly 25 percent in the first nine months of 2017 from the same period a year earlier, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission said Friday.
There were 411 approved investments by businesses from “New Southbound” countries, worth more than a combined US$200 million during the period, representing a 21.59 percent rise in the number of projects and a 24.88 percent increase in total value, the Commission said.
By individual countries, the biggest year-on-year increases in investment value came from Indonesia (130.72 percent), Malaysia (117.68 percent), Singapore (55.58 percent), India (55.25 percent) and the Philippines (39.05 percent).
The biggest falls in total approved investment during the nine-month period came from Thailand (down 92.40 percent), Australia (down 35.92 percent), and Vietnam (down 19.04 percent).
The New Southbound Policy, conceived to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China and build ties with other countries in the region, has targeted a total of 16 countries in Southeast and South Asia along with Australia and New Zealand.
Investment Commission figures showed, meanwhile, that approved inbound investment from China was down 20.04 percent during the January-September period from a year ago to US$169.8 million.
Overall, total approved foreign direct investment from around the world was down 48.57 percent during the nine-month period to US$5.19 billion, even if the total number of projects was only down 2.16 percent to 2,494.
The major drop-off came from Europe, largely the result of the US$3.1 billion acquisition of Taiwan’s Hermes Microvision by Netherlands-based semiconductor equipment maker ASML in 2016. •
By Liao Yu-yang and Isabel Wang