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Local fund inflow growth tops rivals

TAIPEI--Taiwan performed better in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) growth among the developing economies in Asia in the first half of this year, according to the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

In a recent statement, the central bank cited a report — the Global Investment Trends Monitor — released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as saying Taiwan's FDI inflows rose to US$1.8 billion in the first half, from an outflow of US$1.4 billion over the same period of last year.

The recovery in FDI inflows enjoyed by Taiwan was a better performance compared with an 11-percent decline in FDI inflows posted by developing economies in Asia, and a 4.8-percent fall registered by all the developing countries in the world.

According to the UNCTAD report, Taiwan's US$1.8 billion in FDI inflows in the first half of this year was also a rebound from an outflow of US$500 million recorded in the second half of last year.

During the same period, Hong Kong suffered a decline of about 26 percent in FDI inflows to some US$41 billion, while China's FDI inflows fell 3 percent to US$59.1 billion as some of its labor intensive industries relocated funds to neighboring countries.

The UNCTAD report showed FDI inflows in the world for the six-month period fell 8 percent from a year earlier to US$668 billion in reflection of uncertainty over the global economy, which has been affected by lingering debt problems in the eurozone.

Some economies, including the United States, Russia and India, witnessed their FDI inflows fall dramatically, the central bank said.

For the U.S., the world's largest economy, the drop was 39.2 percent to push down FDI inflows to US$57.4 billion as enterprises turned reluctant to invest and the number of acquisition deals was on the decline, while the fall in Russia was 39.3 percent, and India's decline hit 42.8 percent.

The central bank said China, the world's second largest economy, replaced the U.S. to become the top destination for foreign investments for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said the UNCTAD report underestimated Taiwan's FDI inflows as it did not include borrowing by foreign companies for business expansions on the island.

After taking foreign investors' financing into account, the ministry said foreign investments in Taiwan for the first half of this year totaled US$6.93 billion, much higher than the report's figure.

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