Taiwan to allow more Chinese investment (update)

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Taiwan's government is planning to allow Chinese investors to invest in 161 types of businesses in a third wave of opening of the country's market to Chinese investment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said Monday. Speaking at a legislative committee hearing, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said the ministry's proposal would allow Chinese investors to invest in 115 types of manufacturing businesses, 23 service businesses and 23 public infrastructure construction businesses. This would allow Chinese capital to be invested in 97 percent of the business categories in Taiwan's manufacturing sector, 51 percent of the service sector and 51 percent of the public infrastructure construction industry, Shih said. According to the ministry, 42 percent of the business categories in both Taiwan's manufacturing and service sectors are currently open to Chinese investment. Some 24 percent of the business category in the public infrastructure construction industry is open to Chinese capital following two rounds of liberalization in 2009 and 2011, the ministry added. In key manufacturing sectors, including flat panels, semiconductors, LEDs and solar batteries, Chinese investors are not allowed to control the management or become major stakeholders, Shih noted. Any investment plans involving Chinese investors in these key sectors, he said, will need to be examined by a task force in order to protect Taiwan's key technologies. "Regulations have become stricter, not looser, and potential investors are required to provide their strategies for industrial cooperation," Shih added. In the previous two waves of market openings, Taiwan allowed Chinese investment in 247 businesses in the manufacturing, service and public infrastructure sectors. Taiwan has attracted Chinese investment of US$272 million since June 2009 when the market-opening process began, according to the ministry. As of December 2011, Taiwanese companies with Chinese capital had hired 5,189 local workers, creating many jobs, the ministry said. (By Jeffrey Wu)