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May 28, 2017

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MOEA aims to attract NT$200 bil. in capital from 'Taishang': chief

Shih Yen-shiang, head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), yesterday expressed his hope to attract NT$200 billion worth of capital from Taiwan businesspeople based in China, commonly known as "Taishang," in two years.

The plan is currently being reviewed by the MOEA, he said, while attending a forum yesterday targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to Shih, a change in the current global business climate has created difficulties for Taiwan businesspeople, especially those operating in China.

"As China transforms from a global factory into a global market, Taishang are forced to rethink their position in the supply chain and engage in industry upgrades and production facility reallocation," he said. "Right now is a good time to bring these Taishang back to the island to set up production sites here."

He said bringing back Taishang has always been a priority for the ministry, with the overall investment goal this year set at NT$50 billion, an amount he would like to see increased.

"It is my hope that the figure would be increased to NT$100 billion in a year and NT$200 billion in two years," he said. "I believe this plan will result in a transformation of Taiwan's industry and the creation of more jobs."

During the event he also lauded Taiwan's SMEs, which total about 1.28 million. "SMEs account for 98 percent of the island's total companies and create 78 percent of jobs," he said. "Their role in boosting Taiwan's economy has been significant."

Separately, Premier Sean Chen said yesterday incentive measures to bring Taishang back, including the provision of NT$30 billion worth of low-interest loans, have not been finalized.

"We've exchanged ideas about these measures, yet haven't reached a final conclusion," Chen said while being interviewed by the media in front of the Legislative Yuan.

Chen's remarks came after media reports yesterday that the Council for Economic Planning and Development was planning to increase the amount of low-interest loans from NT$10 billion to NT$30 billion as an incentive measure to bring Taishang back. The money is to be taken from the National Development Fund.

"The NT$30 billion is just one of the options, and it hasn't been finalized," Chen said.

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