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Gov't Will Greatly Relax Restrictions on Foreign Investments Next Year

Taipei, Nov. 5, 2012 (CENS)--To speed up direct foreign investments in Taiwan, the Executive Yuan (the Cabinet) will screen at its regular meeting on Thursday (Nov. 8) the revised statute for foreign and overseas Chinese investments, which calls for great relaxation of the restrictions on such investments by substituting the system of “post reporting in principle and advance approval as an exception” for the existing system of advanced approval. Under the new system, investment cases under USS1 million in scale can be carried out directly, without the need of advance approval.

A ranking official revealed that at present 80% of foreign and overseas Chinese and foreign investment projects are less than US$1 million in scale and therefore need only to report to the authority afterwards, without the need of applying for approval in advance.

However, advance application for approval is still needed for some 50 business items which need special permission for entry, including first-category telecommunications, finance, insurance, securities futures, cable-TV operator, satellite TV, aviation, marine, and land transportation, transportation assistance, and utilities.

The relaxation complies with the principle of “openness is the norm and control exception,” proclaimed by President Ma Ying-jeou during his National-Day speech on Oct. 10.

The government, however, decided that initially the new system will be applicable to cases with investment scale less than a specific threshold and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) proposed to set the threshold at US$1 million, which will be approved by the Executive Yuan meeting on Thursday. In addition, the Executive Yuan has also listed the revision of related legislations as a priority task, in the hope of implementing the new system in 2013.
(by Philip Liu)
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