On Thursday Premier Lai Ching-te hosted the 24th interministerial meeting on accelerating investment in Taiwan, with the topic of discussion focused on encouraging Taiwanese firms in China to return home amid growing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. After receiving progress and evaluation briefings from several ministries, the premier said the government should assess the land and manpower needs of firms wishing to return and provide appropriate assistance measures.
While the U.S.-China trade conflict is certain to impact Taiwan, it also presents opportunities for Taiwan's economic growth, the premier said. The government must take advantage of these opportunities to woo back Taiwanese businesses and reinvigorate the domestic investment environment, which will help reshape industrial supply chains, strengthen the future growth capacities of local industries, and make Taiwan's economy even more competitive.
To meet demands for industrial land, the Ministry of Economic Affairs will make state-owned land available at preferential rates, encourage private land owners to release idle or underutilized land, and develop new land for industrial use. These three strategies combined are expected to release 1,470 hectares of land for use by 2022. For short-term needs, government-owned industrial parks can release 415 hectares right away, with details to be publicly announced for companies to consider.
To satisfy needs for manpower, the Ministry of Labor has set up five service windows, one for each region, to liaise with returning companies, process requests for manpower and assess specific service needs.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has also established a task force to provide companies with customized and exclusive service, including a dedicated case manager for each investment project to oversee land, electricity, water, environmental protection and manpower services.
Premier Lai said the current situation confronting Taiwan is very different from the economic downturns of the past. To bring Taiwanese firms back home, the government must make medium- and long-term plans that look further down the road, and be proactive rather than reactive in meeting business needs. The premier therefore directed the National Development Council to establish a task force along with an action plan to encourage the return of Taiwanese businesses, helping them relocate and invest in Taiwan to spur economic growth and drive up salary levels.