Investment in Taiwan soars as EU lawmakers back trade deal

Over $3 billion in foreign direct investment poured into Taiwan in the period from January through August, latest official figures show. Data released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission shows investment in the country increased 2.44 per cent from the same period last year.

Driving the rise were China-based firms, with inward investment from Taiwan's largest neighbour rising by over 136 per cent over the eight-month period from a year before.

The news came as a group of European Union (EU) policymakers backed plans for a bilateral economic pact between the bloc and Taiwan. According to the China Post, the proposed economic cooperation agreement (ECA) would be “in the best interests of both sides”, the group said.

Charles Tannock, chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, and Kenneth C.M. Lo, chairman of Taiwan's Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, were behind the calls for the ECA.

The EU is Taiwan's fourth-largest trading partner, while the bloc is the Asian nation's largest foreign direct investor, accounting for more than 25 per cent of total investment.

In further good news for Taiwan's investment status, Business Environment Risk Intelligence recently ranked the country the world's third safest place to invest.

The report noted that Taiwan is continuing to reinforce its external economic relationships, especially through free trade agreements (FTAs), and that relations across the Taiwan Strait will remain "amicable" for the next five years. Taiwan is expected to maintain its ranking of third in the world in 2014, with its overall score rising to 74. The ranking and score are expected to remain the same in 2018.

"Taiwan's performance on the Operations Risk Index is outstanding in the latest report, ranking second in the world after Singapore," the report states.

BERI also points out that Taiwan has announced new government plans to increase biotech investment by 25 per cent over the next three years. "Domestic banks are working vigorously to expand their overseas markets, and the island's banking industry will continue to expand over the next two years," the firm adds.

BERI predicts that Taiwan will tie with Singapore for first place in the global operating risk ranking in 2014, and that it will be in second place in 2018. 

For businesses considering exploring investment in Taiwan, TMF Group has local offices where dedicated staff have the expertise to help your business navigate complex regulation.