Taipei (CNA) - Another four Taiwanese companies have pledged to boost investments in Taiwan, raising the total pledges to more than NT$400 billion (US$12.90 billion) so far this year under the government's incentive program to encourage Taiwan-invested companies to return home, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The four companies were fitness equipment supplier Tonic Fitness Technology Inc., machinery maker Rexon Technology Corp., an electronics components firm and an automation equipment producer, which asked not to be named.
They have pledged to invest a total of NT$25.3 billion in Taiwan.
The planned investments by the four companies have raised the total amounts pledged under the MOEA program to NT$411.7 billion by 81 companies so far this year.
The incentive program was launched at the beginning of this year, and the investments are expected to create more than 36,850 new jobs in the local market.
The ministry launched incentives in January to encourage Taiwanese companies that have shifted their operations overseas in recent decades, especially to China, to invest more in Taiwan at a time of increasing trade friction 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.
Tonic, the largest spinning bike maker in Taiwan, has previously planned to expand its production capacity in Ningbo in China's Zhejiang province or in Taiwan to meet rising demand, the MOEA said.
But due to the escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, Tonic has decided to invest NT$1.6 billion in Taiwan by building a new plant in Tainan, the MOEA said. The new investment aims to introduce smart manufacturing and is expected to create 270 new jobs in Taiwan, the MOEA added.
Rexon, the MOEA said, is planning to relocate its production lines in China back to Taichung, central Taiwan, by investing NT$800 million to add capacity for machinery production in an existing plant located in Dali District, which is expected to create 300 new jobs.
The Dali plant, which will be equipped with more automation equipment, is expected to serve as a research and development hub and roll out new products, the MOEA said.
As for the anonymous electronics maker, which is specialized at manufacturing passive components such as chip resistors, inductors and multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), the MOEA said the investor will invest NT$20 billion to build a new plant in Kaohsiung, aiming to hire 1,183 newcomers and produce high-end items.
Meanwhile, the MOEA said, the anonymous automation equipment supplier is planning to pour NT$2.8 billion to build a new factory site in Miaoli, northern Taiwan, by introducing a smart logistics system for its production. The investment is expected to create 100 new jobs.
Besides the latest four pledges, the MOEA said, there are more than 50 firms on the waiting list for a review under the ministry's incentive program.
Last month, Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said the total investments 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 this 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, and some of the pledged investments will be made over a period of a few years, according to the MOEA. (By Tsai Peng-min and Frances Huang)