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China-bound investment rush cooling off: Taiwan MAC vice chief

Government-approved investment in China by Taiwanese enterprises in Q3 is significantly down by 34.2 percent year on year

A file photo of Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Fu Dong-cheng. (file photo) Fu said at a news conference on Nov. 19 that China investment fever...

A file photo of Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Fu Dong-cheng. (file photo) Fu said at a news conference on Nov. 19 that China investment fever...

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) China investment fever among Taiwan-based companies is cooling off, despite several economic measures implemented by President Ma Ying-jeou to open wider exchanges with China, since he came to office in May, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Fu Dong-cheng (傅棟成) said Wednesday.

"The new government's easing of the regulations governing China-bound investment projects by Taiwan businesses has not had a negative impact on Taiwan's economy," Fu said, "but at the same time the China investment fever among Taiwan enterprises has subsided."

Fu said that the cross-strait policy implemented by the Ma government had strengthen the confidence of foreign businessmen and international investors in Taiwan’s economy, and also eased the impacts of global financial crisis, slowing down the speed of capital withdrawal from Taiwan by foreign capitals for saving the economy of their original countries.

Fu made the remarks while explaining the MAC's China investment policy at a news conference--the latest in a series of such conferences being held every week since Nov. 12 by Cabinet-level agencies to explain their policies.

Government-approved investment in China by Taiwanese enterprises in Q3 was significantly down by 34.2 percent year on year, Fu said. For the May-September period, the figure also dropped by 3.3 percent compared to the previous year's level, he added.

He noted, however, that in the first five months of this year,
Taiwan's investment in China grew by 24.3 percent compared to the year-earlier level.

Asked when Chinese investment would be allowed in Taiwan--a key policy broached by the Ma administration--the MAC vice chairman said the work toward this goal has been proceeding well, but due to the complexity of the issue, a final decision would be made only when the relevant Taiwanese agencies reach an agreement on the plan.

On the part of China’s real estate investment in Taiwan, Fu pointed out that if Chinese capital invested in manufacturing industry and had needs to purchase factories or offices, they would be allowed for the sale. However, Chinese capitals were not allowed to engage in real estate sales for the purposes of development or investment in case they drove up Taiwan’s real estate prices.

As well, the two sides need to hold talks on the opening measures because China has yet to designate Taiwan as an approved investment destination, he added.

Commenting on the opening of new flight routes and shipping links across the Taiwan Strait, Fu said more direct air routes are vital and he asserted that they will not be considered by other countries as domestic China routes. Foreign registered vessels will also be allowed to sail between the two sides, as they will be exempted from the existing restrictions, he said.

In the future, ships sailing directly between Taiwan and China, regardless of their nationalities, will be categorized only by the type of cargo they are allowed to transport, Fu explained.

Taiwan and China inked four cooperation pacts early this month during historic talks in Taipei, agreeing to expand their current air travel network, open shipping and postal services and set up food safety control mechanisms. These accords are expected to take effect in December.