Industry leaders discuss Taiwanese investment in Indonesia and Philippines

A forum was held yesterday as part of the New Southbound Investment Practice series

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Philippines capital Manila (Flickr/Benson Kua)

Philippines capital Manila (Flickr/Benson Kua)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In order to better understand investment practices in Indonesia and the Philippines, Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission held a seminar yesterday (Oct. 29) inviting experts to share their experiences investing in the two countries.

The seminar—part of the New Southbound Investment Practice series—invited two KPMG departmental deputy directors to provide investment analysis, as well as numerous Taiwanese businesspeople stationed in Indonesia and the Philippines to share their experiences.

Indonesia and the Philippines have the largest populations of all ASEAN countries at 260 million and 100 million respectively. Recent rapid economic growth combined with surging middle classes and labor forces has created a huge demand for business in both countries.

Deputy Director Chen Hsiu-chuan (陳秀全) from the Investment Commission said Taiwan is deeply integrated in the global supply chain and has close industrial links with the U.S. and China. Risks that have arisen from the U.S.-China trade war highlight the importance of diversifying investment.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance issued a document in early 2018 that provides new regulations on tax holidays as an incentive to attract business to the country, said one KPMG deputy director. Investors no longer need to establish a new business to take advantage of the tax holiday plan. This makes the country more attractive to potential investors and will encourage economic growth, he commented.

Business leaders also pointed out that Philippine authorities have introduced a new tax bill this year known as the TRAIN (Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion) which will reduce income tax for around 99 percent of the population.

The experts also discussed other potential investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, including East Timor, which is rich in natural gas and oil.