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Taiwan poised for investment growth: bank

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's economic environment is well-poised to handle increased foreign investment because of its strong fundamentals, an executive of UK-based Standard Chartered Bank said Thursday.

Jaspal Bindra, group executive director and a member of the board of directors of Standard Chartered, said that “the fundamental strength of Taiwan is still well known” and that the country is ready for investment growth.

Despite various challenges, such as retaining talented workers and improving the business environment, Taiwan will likely find feasible solutions in time amid an economic transition period, Bindra said during his opening speech at the Taiwan Economic Summit.

The daylong forum was held for the first time by the Financial Times and Standard Chartered and attracted over 300 government officials, economists, entrepreneurs and dignitaries from home and abroad.

The meeting was aimed at drawing international attention to Taiwan's economic merits and finding solutions to the problems and challenges it is facing, the organizers said.

Peter Sands, group chief executive officer of Standard Chartered, said during a panel discussion at the summit that many people underestimate the strength and potential of Taiwan's economy.

The country is expected to see a shift in its economic fundamentals, with many Taiwanese companies starting to focus investment based on Asian consumer demand rather than relying heavily on Western markets, Sands said.

However, he suggested that Taiwanese firms allocate more resources to improving their marketing and brand images, which some South Korean companies have done well over the past few years.

“You can build a brand actually with certain efforts and determination,” Sands added.

Speaking on Taiwan's hope of becoming another Chinese yuan offshore trading center after Hong Kong, Sands said that Taiwan has advantages in its cultural closeness to China and its technology innovation capability.

He also described Taipei as “a good place to live,” which is a particular strength of Taiwan that will help attract more foreign business workers as part of the government's efforts to build the country into a regional hub.

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