MOEA OKs investment applications from pair of overseas Taiwanese firms
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday approved applications by two overseas-based Taiwanese investors to set up manufacturing operations in Taiwan, with investments totaling NT$21.6 billion.
January 26, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The move is part of a government incentive program to boost the local economy and employment by luring back Taiwan firms.
One of the overseas Taiwanese businesses is New Widetech, which will invest over NT$1 billion to set up a plant in Tainan to produce compressors and electric motors, the MOEA's Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) said.
The IDB did not disclose the name of the other company, the sector it belongs to, or the location of its operations. This company will invest about NT$20 billion.
The IDB said that the two investment projects, approved during a cross-ministry review hosted by the MOEA, will create about 1,500 jobs in Taiwan.
The MOEA has so far held six cross-ministry meetings reviewing investment proposals by overseas Taiwanese businesses since the government urged these investors to return to Taiwan, according to the Central News Agency.
Sixteen proposals have been submitted to the government, with investment sums totaling about NT$150 billion and job openings expected at 21,000.
But as incentives for such projects include a quota for foreign workers, activists have voiced concern over the government promising cheap labor to attract investments at the expense of the local work force.
The activists are worried that an influx of cheap labor from abroad will force local workers to accept lower incomes.
Labor authorities have dismissed such concerns, saying that the foreign labor quota for returning Taiwanese businesses will not affect the employment of locals.
The Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training under the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said that although the quota will be given once an investment project is approved, the business cannot hire foreign workers until it has fully employed the number of locals as originally indicated in the proposal.
It then may recruit foreign workers if there are more openings to be filled, but it will still have to first try to fill these slots with locals. Foreign workers will only be allowed when there are labor shortages, the bureau said.
It stressed that one year after a business has recruited its first foreign worker, the government will conduct regular inspections to see if the ratio of foreign and local labor at the company meets the requirement. This measure aims to prevent the employer from laying off locals after hiring foreigners.
The bureau maintained that the foreign labor quota is meant to be “supplementary” and will not affect the salary levels of locals.