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Taiwan attracting major international firms for R&D investment


Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Economic Affairs briefing on current efforts to attract large international firms to build research and development centers in Taiwan. The premier said Taiwan possesses three strengths—an open, transparent and clean system of democratic rule of law that international companies can trust; a world-leading semiconductor industry strategically located in the Asia-Pacific; and strategic government guidance carried out through subsidies, talent cultivation and tax benefits. These advantages have successfully attracted a steady stream of investment by large international firms to establish R&D centers. This year's foreign R&D investment in Taiwan has already hit a record high, surpassing NT$24 billion (US$786.1 million).

The premier pointed out that Taiwan was ranked the best in Asia in the most recently published editions of the Business Environment Risk Intelligence report and TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix. Taiwan also received its highest marks ever in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, affirming it as an ideal place for establishing business partnerships.

Taiwan not only holds an important geostrategic position, the premier said, but also boasts favorable conditions to attract foreign businesses. The World Competitiveness Yearbook and the Global Competitiveness Report, published respectively by the International Institute for Management Development and the World Economic Forum, attest that Taiwan's industrial cluster development is ranked No. 3 in the world, its R&D talent and innovation capabilities are both No. 1 in Asia, and it also ranks among the best globally in intellectual property protection.

Premier Su went on to say that the government will also attract foreign firms to Taiwan through various subsidy, personnel and taxation initiatives. Efforts include an NT$10 billion (US$327.5 million) investment over seven years to transform Taiwan into a high-tech R&D hub, establish colleges for the study of semiconductor technology, enact specialized recruitment legislation for foreign professionals, strengthen retention of senior migrant workers as well as foreign and overseas compatriot students, and provide tax credits for R&D investment via the Statute for Industrial Innovation.

Premier Su emphasized that to date, approximately 30 major international firms have set up R&D centers in Taiwan, investing a total of about NT$60 billion (US$2 billion) and generating an estimated annual production value of nearly NT$340 billion (US$11.1 billion). Among those firms, Google's data center is Asia's largest, Microsoft's AI R&D center is Asia's first, and Micron's high-end memory R&D center is developing the world's most advanced manufacturing processes.

The premier also said that by forging closer links, Taiwan and foreign firms will create more high-quality employment opportunities across the island and promote balanced regional development. Those links will furthermore enhance the autonomy and resilience of Taiwan's industry chains, creating a "silicon shield" for Taiwan and strengthening national security.

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