Investments into NSP countries increased by 92.1% in Q1

Taiwan’s investments in countries included in the government’s New Southbound Policy (NSP) rose more than 90 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, the Yuan’s office of the Administration of Trade Negotiations said on Saturday.

As Taiwan intensified efforts to improve economic ties with countries included in the policy, investments by Taiwanese investors in 80 projects in 18 countries reached about US$2.72 billion in the January-March period, up 92.1 percent. A year ago, data from the office showed.

Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand received the most investment from Taiwan during the three-month period, the office said.

The NSP was launched in 2016 by the government of former President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), targeting 18 countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australia to reduce their economic dependence on China.

The 10 ASEAN members are Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to investment, bilateral trade with 18 countries reached US$42 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 11.9 percent over the previous year, the office said.

Exports to 18 countries rose 28.6 percent to US$26.1 billion, imports from those countries fell 7.7 percent to US$15.9 billion, and Taiwan posted a trade surplus of US$10.2 billion, the office said.

Bilateral trade in agricultural products with NSP countries was US$1.5 billion, up 2.7 percent from the previous year, while agricultural exports increased by 11.7 percent from the previous year to US$330 million, the office said.

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Taiwanese investors won two bids for engineering projects launched in the first quarter in NSP countries, totaling NT$15 million (US$465,116).

Fifteen researchers from or studied in 18 countries came to Taiwan in the first quarter to conduct research, the office said.

Also, 33,907 students from NSP countries came to Taiwan to pursue their studies.

The Executive Yuan has approved a program to grant grants to foreign exchange schools to hire 129 teachers.

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