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Urge to invest locally shows signs of growth

The latest investment survey published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA,經濟部) showed that economic outlook may be increasingly brightening as manufacturers get more willing to invest locally this year.

The survey indicates that about 25.7 percent of the polled businesses — upwards of 3,000 firms at home and abroad — are willing to invest in Taiwan this year, compared to 15.3 percent of the respondents eyeing outbound investments. The result reflects an upbeat outlook for Taiwan's economy, say MOEA officials.

The MOEA noted that local manufacturers generally look to sharpen competitiveness through investment, adding that the high quality and stability of domestic manpower and strong research and development (R&D) momentum available locally are the two key factors that drive their willingness to invest locally.

According to the United Daily News, business heavyweights have revealed their interest to expand investment ever since the beginning of the second half of 2013. In the meantime, large-cap companies from semiconductor manufacturing, testing and packaging, display panels, dynamic random access memories (DRAM) and traditional manufacturing industries have had plans of some sort to re-capitalize or raise capital expenditures this year.

A DRAM maker, MOEA reports, has raised capital expenditure six times relative to last year's amount.

The survey also shows that as much as 40.8 percent of local enterprises with more than 200 employees plan to invest locally this year, and so are 23.4 percent and 13.2 percent of those with a workforce of 100-199 and less than 100 people, respectively. The chemical industry shows the strongest willingness to invest locally with as high as 29.8 percent expressing interest.

However, about three-quarters of local manufacturers, mostly small and medium in size, have no plans to invest this year, admits MOEA officials, with 45.7 percent of respondents not planning to invest on the concern that economic uncertainty lingers.

Over 70 percent of the respondents with outbound investment plans choose China as target, while 13.7 percent of them opt for Vietnam.

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