The number of planned investments in China by Taiwanese companies that were government-approved last year fell for the third consecutive year, slumping 21 percent year-on-year, the Investment Commission said on Friday.
The commission attributed the decline to slower growth and a less attractive investment environment in China, which have discouraged Taiwanese investors from injecting funds into the market.
According to the commission, it approved a total of 252 China-bound investment applications last year, down 21.49 percent from a year earlier.
China’s GDP grew 6.7 percent last year, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.
The figure fell within the Chinese government’s growth target range of 6.5 to 7 percent, but was still the lowest in 26 years.
China’s weakening export growth in recent years also drove Taiwanese investors to other nations, in particular to Southeast Asia, the commission said.
It said that the government’s “new southbound policy,” which aims to develop closer business ties with ASEAN members to reduce dependence on China, has guided Taiwanese investors to the Southeast Asian market.
In addition to a decline in the number of approved investment plans, the value of approved investments in China also fell 11.67 percent from a year earlier to US$9.18 billion last year, the commission said.
On the other hand, the number of approved investment plans by Chinese companies in Taiwan fell 7.06 percent from a year earlier to 158, with the value of the approved projects up 1.46 percent to US$247 million, the commission said.
As for foreign investments in Taiwan, excluding funds from China, the number of approved applications fell 9.9 percent from a year earlier to 3,414 last year, but the value of the approved applications rose 130.09 percent from a year earlier to about US$11.04 billion, the commission said.
The high growth resulted mainly from US-based DRAM chipmaker Micron Technology Corp’s NT$130 billion (US$4.12 billion) acquisition of a 67 percent stake in Inotera Memories Inc (華亞科技), bringing the Taiwanese company fully under its corporate umbrella.
It was also helped by Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding NV’s NT$100 billion acquisition of Taiwanese counterpart Hermes Microvision Inc (漢微科).
The commission said the number of foreign bound investment applications filed by Taiwanese firms rose 7.36 percent from a year earlier to 496 last year and the value of those investment projects also rose 12.82 percent year-on-year to US$12.12 billion.