Foreign direct investment in Taiwan tumbles by 41pc in five months to US$1.99b

Foreign direct investment approved by the Taiwan government plunged more than 40 percent in the first five months of 2021, from a year earlier, according to the Investment Commission, CNA reports.

The sharp decrease in approved FDI reflected uncertainty over the economy, amid an outbreak of domestic coronavirus infections in Taiwan, and a relatively high comparison base from the same period last year, the commission said Monday.

According to the commission’s data, the country’s FDI in the first five months of 2021 totaled US$1.99 billion, a decline of 41.92 percent from a year earlier, while the number of the approved applications from foreign investors fell 24.74 percent year-on-year to 1,080.

The comparison base for the first five months of 2020 was higher, the commission said, citing the US$800 million investment pledged by Orsted Wind Power TW Holding A/S and Greater Changhua Offshore Wind Farm SW in offshore wind development, US$400 million by Diodes Taiwan S.A R.L, and US$270 million by Kioxia Corp.

Despite the decline in approved FDIs in the first five months of 2021, approved investments from countries listed in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy rose 66.01 percent from a year earlier to NT$8.57 billion (US$306 million), with most of it coming from companies in Thailand, Singapore and Australia, the commission said.

The New Southbound Policy is aimed at reinforcing economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, India, Australia and New Zealand, in a bid to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China.

The commission said the value of investment applications from China approved by the Taiwan government totaled NT$545 million in the period January to May this year, down 61.66 percent from a year earlier.

The decline largely reflected a relatively high baseline over the same period last year, the commission said, adding that since Taiwan lifted a ban on Chinese investment in June 2009, it has approved NT$72.88 billion in funds from China.

Meanwhile, in the first five months of 2021, the value of Taiwan’s approved foreign bound investment fell 47.66 percent from a year earlier to NT$51.07 billion, the commission said.

During that period, the value of approved Taiwan investments in China plunged 59.29 percent from a year earlier to NT$32.6 billion, according to the commission.

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