Asia Pacific

Taiwan to offer further $5 bln in loans to support domestic investment

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TAIPEI, July 8 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Cabinet said on Thursday the government plans to offer a further T$150 billion ($5.34 billion) in loans as part of a programme to encourage the island's companies to keep investing at home.

Taiwan has been encouraging its firms to invest at home, having seen companies flock back to the island during the China-U.S. trade war, to avoid being affected by punitive tariffs both of those countries have imposed on imports from each other.

The Cabinet said in a statement that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been no let up in investment by companies in Taiwan, where the economy and especially the tech exports have continued to boom, driven by demand globally from people working and studying from home during lockdowns.

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With more than 50 companies awaiting approval for investment projects, and to encourage more, the Cabinet said it would offer another T$150 billion in loans to help with financing, after previous funding was used up.

Export-dependent Taiwan is a major producer of semiconductors, a shortage of which has impacted global auto makers in particular, and Taiwan companies are ramping up capacity to meet the demand.

Taiwan's exports in the first half of this year exceed $200 billion, a record high, driven in large part by its tech and chip products.

"It is remarkable that we can still have such a performance during the epidemic," the Cabinet said.

The government said more than 900 companies have increased their presence in Taiwan in the past two years during the trade war, investing more than T$1.2 trillion.

($1 = 28.1060 Taiwan dollars)

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee Editing by Robert Birsel

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