3 additional Taiwan firms pledge to invest NT$37.6 billion at home

MOEA announced that the three companies include an LED manufacturer, an electronic components maker, and a rubber items producer

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TAIPEI (CNA) -- Three additional Taiwanese companies operating overseas have pledged to invest a total of NT$37.6 billion (US$1.20 billion) in Taiwan to avoid the possible impact from rising trade tensions between the United States and China, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Investments pledged by the three companies, including LED back light module supplier Shian Yih Electronic Industry Co., another electronics maker and a rubber items producer, which asked not to be named, are expected to create 1,756 new jobs in the local market, the MOEA said.

The investment plans by the three firms boosted the total pledges under an MOEA's incentive program, which aims to encourage more Taiwanese companies operating overseas to return home, to NT$369 billion so far this year.

The investments from 69 firms are estimated to create a total of more than 33,000 new jobs in Taiwan, the MOEA added.

The ministry launched incentives in January to encourage Taiwanese companies that have shifted their operations overseas in recent decades, in particular to China, to invest more in Taiwan at a time of increasing 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 companies easier access to bank loans and a simplified process to recruit migrant workers, as well as services tailored to their needs.

According to the MOEA, one of the three latest companies to pledge to invest back home, Shian Yih, is one of the leading small and medium sized LED back light module suppliers based in Taiwan. It is planning to invest more than NT$700 million to add new production lines and to upgrade automation equipment in a factory located in the Taichung Industrial Park, in central Taiwan. It hopes to raise Taiwan's weighting in its global production. The investment is expected to create 180 new jobs, the MOEA said.

Commenting on the anonymous electronics maker, the MOEA said the company is planning to invest NT$35.6 billion in southern Taiwan, the largest pledge among the three, to set up high-end technology processes and to install automation equipment.

As part of the new investment, the electronics maker will hire 1,354 additional workers in Taiwan, the MOEA said.

As for the anonymous rubber product supplier, which owns more than 10 production sites worldwide, the MOEA said it is expected to invest NT$1.2 billion to set up a research and development center and expand its production in Taiwan, with a plan to hire 222 employees.

The rubber items maker, which markets products under its own brand in the global market, has many clients in North America so it is necessary for the company to take action by raising its production in Taiwan when it is faced with rising threats from higher tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Chinese goods, the MOEA said.

Last month, Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said the total investment pledged by Taiwanese firms operating overseas could hit NT$550-600 billion in 2019, surpassing a government goal to attract NT$500 billion in investments from overseas Taiwanese firms for the year.

But he added the actual investment this year is estimated at NT$160-170 billion. It will take the companies some time to work out the details of their investments, including finding land and labor. Some of the pledged investments will be made over a period of a few years, according to the MOEA.