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New plans to allow investment from mainland still being reviewed: MOEA

The China Post news staff--Plans to allow a fourth wave of Chinese capital to come to Taiwan are still being reviewed by the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the ministry said yesterday.

The MOEA made the remarks after President Ma Ying-jeou urged the government to further open the island to foreign capital and investors during his National Day address delivered on Oct. 10.

“In the future, deregulation will be the norm, and regulation will be rarer,” he said.

The ministry says it has always been working toward that direction, seeking to allow more foreign and Chinese capital to come in.

On the issue whether the “controlling influence clause” can be removed for Chinese capital seeking to invest in Taiwan's flat panel, light-emitting diode (LED) and photovoltaic (PV) industries, MOEA said the issue will be reviewed by a special taskforce.

“Discussions about that special topic will be held,” the ministry said.

Taiwan has over the years developed strong PV and LED industries. According to analysis in a recent report by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, the LED illumination sector posted total sales of US$39 billion in 2011, a 23-percent increase over the previous year.

Another report by SEMI, meanwhile, noted that Taiwan's LED capacity will again take the lead in 2012, accounting for 25 percent of the world, and LED equipment spending will reach US$321 million, ranking No. 2 globally.

As for whether Taiwan will open its service and public infrastructure sectors to Chinese investment, the ministry declined to comment, saying allowing Chinese investment to enter public infrastructure is a decision to be made by the Public Construction Commission.

As for whether allowing the fourth wave of Chinese investors to Taiwan will take place before the end of the year, the ministry did not give a specific timing and asked the public to give more space and time to the government, which will make an announcement when the time is ripe.

Economic Minister Shih Yen-shiang has said that since the adoption of a policy encouraging investment by Chinese investors, 98 percent of the manufacturing sector has already opened to Chinese capital. It is expected the service industry will also open to Chinese investment, and the margin of opening “will not be small,” the ministry said.

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