Program to attract investment back to Taiwan gets three-year extension

A program aimed at luring overseas Taiwanese capital back to invest in the country and accelerating domestic investment projects will be extended by another three years to 2024, the Cabinet announced on Thursday.

First launched in January 2019, the program provides subsidies and loans to attract overseas Taiwanese firms to invest funds in Taiwan amid trade disputes between Washington and Beijing, and to speed up the transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Other incentives include a simplified process to recruit migrant workers and services tailored to enterprises' needs.

The decision to extend the program, which is expected to expire at the end of 2021, was prompted because of the ongoing shifts in the global economy and supply chains, Deputy Economic Minister Tseng Wen-sheng (???) said at a Cabinet press briefing Thursday, adding that there are still overseas Taiwanese companies wishing to move their capital back to Taiwan.

The government hopes that the extension will attract NT$900 billion (US$32.14 billion) in investment pledges while creating around 40,000 job opportunities in Taiwan.

According to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) data, the government has approved the investment applications of 1,109 companies which pledged to invest NT$1.55 trillion and create 123,425 jobs in Taiwan under the current program.

Starting from 2022, companies that want to be eligible for the program will be required to show their commitment to cutting carbon emissions, MOEA said.

Applicants will be assessed on whether they have plans to invest in renewable energy equipment, energy-saving or low-carbon equipment, recycling devices, or green architecture, Tseng said, without elaborating how the MOEA would assess the qualification of individual companies.

According to Premier Su Tseng-chang (???), the new rule is part of the government's efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. He said at a Cabinet meeting prior to the press conference that he hoped the move would encourage investments in the circular economy and build a foundation for the industry in the following decades to come.

In addition, Tseng noted that the government plans to partner with banks and provide additional loans totaling NT$430 billion to enterprises through the program for the next three years.

Since 2019, the government has pledged loans totaling NT$830 billion.

Commenting on the labor shortage issue, which is partly caused by COVID-19 border restrictions that have curbed the entry of migrant workers, Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng (???) said the MOEA had been in continued talks with the Ministry of Labor to try to solve the problem.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel