Taipei, The value of approved foreign investments in Taiwan for the first half of this year fell more than 20 percent from a year earlier in the wake of a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year, according to the Investment Commission.
In the first six months of this year, the commission approved foreign investment applications valued at US$3.03 billion, down 20.39 percent from a year earlier.
The commission said the steep fall reflected a high comparison base last year after Dutch-based Micron Technology B.V. raised its investments in Micron Technology Inc. by about US$1.77 billion in May 2017.
Out of the total approved foreign investments in Taiwan, the commission said the combined value of approved applications from the 18 countries under Taiwan's "New Southbound Policy" also fell 21.78 percent from a year earlier to US$98.43 million in the six-month period.
Despite the fall in the combined approved value in the investments from the 18 countries, the commission said, the value of approved investments from Thailand, India, New Zealand and the Philippines rose 2551.5 percent, 72.04 percent, 46.74 percent and 31.2 percent, respectively, during the six months.
The New Southbound Policy, which was launched by the Tsai Ing-wen (???) government after she became president in May 2016, is aimed at forging closer economic ties with the 10 member states of ASEAN, as well as with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand, to reduce economic dependence on China.
Meanwhile, during the six-month period, approved investment from China in Taiwan also fell 10.76 percent from a year earlier to US$138 million, according to the commission, which also attributed the drop to a relatively high comparison base.
But the number of approved foreign investment applications and approved proposals on investments from China, the commission said, both rose 6.74 percent and 1.49 percent, respectively, from a year earlier in the first half of this year.
Talking to the press, commission executive secretary, Chang Ming-pin (???), said the drop in approved foreign investments from China in the six-month period also resulted from foreign investors postponing their plans.
Chang said so far the commission has received new applications on foreign investments in Taiwan so he expects the momentum of foreign investments will pick up in the second half of this year and the value of approved foreign investments in Taiwan for the entire 2018 could return to a growth trend.
As for approved foreign bound investment, the value fell 9.75 percent from a year earlier to US$4.85 billion in the first half of this year, also due to a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year, the commission said.
Taiwan's investments in the countries under the New Southbound Policy also dropped by 31.27 percent during the first six months of this year, to US$1.48 billion.
Besides investments bound for foreign countries, the value of approved China-bound investments dropped 4.52 percent from a year earlier to US$4.24 billion in the six-month period. Chang said the decline could be due to Taiwanese investors turning more cautious amid escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel