2016 Taiwan-ASEAN Investment Strategy Partner Forum Held as Part of New Southbound Policy: Connect with ASEAN to Create New Business Opportunities
The Taiwan-ASEAN Investment Strategy Partner Forum, organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’s (MOEA) Department of Investment Services, was held at the Taipei International Conference Center today (the 13th). The forum attracted over 600 participants, including investment officials from ASEAN countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam (including 4 deputy minister-level officials), Taiwanese businesspeople who have invested in Asia, and representatives from Taiwanese companies. The Department of Investment Services said that Taiwan’s small domestic market means that companies must expand into overseas markets. With the emergence of ASEAN’s economy, the forum can help build an engagement forum with ASEAN, providing an opportunity for face-to-face communication between Taiwanese businesses and officials from ASEAN investment authorities. This will help companies evaluate the feasibility of investing in ASEAN countries. In addition, information on investment opportunities in Taiwan will also be provided to encourage investment in Taiwan by overseas businesspeople.
The Department also pointed out that man Taiwanese companies need to consider establishing overseas manufacturing bases due to the investment environment constraints (in land, labor, and market size) they face in Taiwan. With the rapid economic growth and rise of the middle class in ASEAN countries in recent years, and the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, the 10 countries comprising ASEAN now form an enormous market. However, the ASEAN countries differ greatly in their political systems, religions, and economic development. The aim of the first Taiwan-ASEAN Investment Strategy Partner Forum is to help Taiwanese companies evaluate the feasibility of investing in ASEAN. Investment authority officials from ASEAN countries, including Vice Chairman Himawan Hariyoga of Indonesia’s Investment Coordination Board (BKPM); Deputy Secretary Felicitas R. Agoncillo-Reyes of the Philippines’s Department of Trade and Industry; Deputy Secretary General Duangjai Asawachintachit of Thailand’s Board of Investment; Assistant Minister Pornchai Tarkulwaranont of Thailand’s Ministry of Industry; Director General Do Nhat Hoang of Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency; and Deputy CEO Datuk N. Rajendran of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority met with Taiwanese companies and companies already invested in ASEAN to talk and introduce local business opportunities.
Deputy Minister Wang Mei-hua said in her remarks that, in coordination with the New Southbound Policy, the MOEA will strengthen relations with ASEAN countries in investment, trade, and industry cooperation. In terms of investment, the MOEA will implement the ASEAN Strategic Partners Plan, introducing overseas students in Taiwan from ASEAN countries to companies, encouraging engagement between talent in Taiwan and ASEAN, and organizing investment cooperation promotion groups.. The MOEA will also offer direct local assistance and advising services for investors in ASEAN. In terms of trade, concrete measures include strengthening cooperation in e-commerce, inviting more buyers from ASEAN countries to Taiwan, organizing business matchmaking events, establishing marketing channels in ASEAN countries, and establishing business centers. In terms of industry, MOEA will continue to promote industrial cooperation with ASEAN countries through dialogue mechanisms, and encourage the signing of memorandums of understanding (MOUs). For example, this forum saw the signing of MOUs between Taiwan’s Automotive Research and Testing Center and the Thailand Automotive Institute, as well as between Taiwan’s Food Industry Research and Development Institute and Thailand’s National Food Institute. In addition, an MOU for cooperation in halal biotech products was signed between Malaysian herbal medicine company Nutragate Biotech and Taiwan’s biotech companies Taiwan Leader Biotech and New Bellus Enterprises; and a cooperation agreement was signed between Malaysian distributor Micellar Technology and Taiwan’s SunWay Biotech. The signing of the above MOUs will drive greater investment cooperation between Taiwan and ASEAN.
To help Taiwanese companies plan their strategy in ASEA markets, the Department of Investment Services arranged for ASEAN officials and each country’s Taiwan representative office to talk about business opportunities and the advantages of the investment environment in their respective countries in the afternoon sessions. The information will help Taiwanese companies when they invest in ASEAN.