CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 causes double-digit fall in foreign direct investment: MOEA

The number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects and value of capital investment in Taiwan in the first 11 months of 2021 dropped by double-digits from the same period last year as global investment plummeted due to containment measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said Monday.

From January to November this year, the number of FDI projects approved stood at 2,448, down 22.46 percent from a year earlier, while capital investment declined 17.57 percent to US$6.718 billion, according to statistics released by the ministry's Investment Commission.

The financing and banking, wholesale and retail, information and communication technology (ICT), electronic component manufacturing, and real estate sectors were the major recipients of FDI capital during the 11-month period.

However, while the ICT industry saw a surge of 99.58 percent in capital inflows from the same period of last year, flows to the other sectors all fell, according to the data.

The Investment Commission said that COVID-19 continued to impact investment, including business travel and economic activities, causing both the number of FDI projects and capital investment in FDI to slide.

Meanwhile, the number of investment cases from countries covered by the government's New Southbound Policy also declined, with 480 approved in the first 11 months, down 0.41 percent year-on-year.

However, the value of investment from those countries increased 172.45 percent to US$962.13 million in the first 11 months, the commission said.

The growth was mostly due to larger investments from Thailand, Singapore and Australia, including NT$8.55 billion (US$307.03 million) in investment by Cal-Comp Electronics and Communications Co. Ltd from Thailand and the NT$2.99 billion invested by Singapore's Empyrion Ed Pte Ltd, it said.

During the 11-month period, investment from China fell to 37 cases, a drop of 56.47 percent year-on-year, and total investment was US$46.05 million, down 62.86 percent, the data showed.

According to the commission, US$2.457 billion in investment from China has been approved since Taiwan lifted its ban on Chinese investment on June 30, 2009.

In terms of outbound investment by Taiwanese firms, 371 cases were approved, down 21.73 percent year-on-year. Total investment was US$9.72 billion, up 22.69 percent mainly as a result of larger investments such as GlobalWafers Inc's US$2.5 billion investment in Germany's Siltronics AG.

The increase in outbound investment reflects Taiwanese businesses scrambling for a share of profits from the reshuffling of supply chains worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MOEA said.

Outbound investments to countries covered by the New Southbound Policy fell 28.48 percent to 113 cases in the first 11 months, but total value surged by 115.55 percent year-on-year, with Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand the main investment destinations.

Meanwhile, outward investment to China decreased by 12.81 percent to 388 cases and dropped in value by 14.47 percent to US$4.79 billion.

The decline shows Taiwanese businesses taking a more cautious approach toward investing in China due to the volatile business environment as a result of the trade disputes and technology war between the United States and China, the commission said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel