An additional seven Taiwanese firms have pledged to invest more than NT$34 billion in Taiwan at a time when the government is urging companies operating overseas to relocate some of their investments back to the island, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The seven firms' NT$34.1 billion investment plans, which are expected to create 2,200 new jobs, have pushed up the total amount of investment pledged back to Taiwan to NT$239.8 billion, and total number of companies to 47 so far this year, the MOEA said.
It said the 47 firms are expected to add more than 23,000 new jobs in the local market, and that the investments will speed up the pace for Taiwan to build a more comprehensive industrial cluster and strengthen its supply chain.
The ministry launched incentives in January to encourage Taiwanese companies that have shifted their operations overseas in recent decades, especially to China, to return to the country to invest at a time of trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.
The trade dispute could seriously hurt Taiwanese firms manufacturing in China, because the products they export to the U.S. will face higher tariffs.
Taiwan's incentives include giving the returning companies easier access to bank loans and a simplified process of recruiting migrant workers, as well as services tailored to their needs.
Among the latest seven firms committing to invest in Taiwan, Newmax Technology Co., which engages in the research, design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of various optics application products, is planning to invest NT$16.1 billion to build a headquarters and high-end camera lens production hub in the Central Taiwan Science Park, the MOEA said.
It said Newmax's investment is expected to bring in more than 1,450 new jobs and form a stronger supply chain for the local optoelectronics industry.
Meanwhile, the MOEA said, Jih Lin Technology Co., one of the largest lead frame manufacturers, has promised to invest NT$1.02 billion in the Nanzih Export Processing Zone located in Kaohsiung City to expand production capacity to roll out lead frame products for automotive electronics use.
The MOEA said Jih Lin Technology, which is expected to create 105 new jobs, has felt the pinch resulting from uncertainty imposed by the Washington-Beijing trade disputes as it has a production base in China. In addition to China, Jih Lin Technology has extended its reach to Japan and Malaysia, the MOEA added.
Three makers of passive electronics components, which refer to items such as chip resistors, inductors and multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), are also among the seven that decided to shift part of their investment back to Taiwan but they declined to be named.
One of the three firms has pledged to invest NT$5.2 billion to expand production and install smart manufacturing to cater to 5G and automotive electronics applications, the MOEA said.
Another of the three is planning to invest NT$2.1 billion in Taoyuan to expand production of radio frequency components, while the third has pledged to invest NT$3.3 billion in its Kaohsiung headquarters to roll out products, including thin film inductors for medical care, industrial computer and automotive electronics use, the MOEA said.
A plastics injection molding producer and a chemical material firm which wants to keep a low profile and asked not to be named, are also planning to invest NT$5 billion and NT$800 million, respectively, in central Taiwan, the MOEA added.
It said that besides the 47 firms already pledging their investment, 30 to 40 other companies have submitted their applications for the ministry's review, and it is possible for the total amount to hit NT$250 billion next week, a goal set by the ministry for this year. (By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)