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|Tuesday, June 12, 2001, updated at 16:58(GMT+8)|
Survey: Taiwan Investors Favor Mainland over TaiwanAbout twice as many Taiwanese exporters are planning to increase their investments in the Chinese mainland than the island after both sides join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a survey showed Monday.
The survey found around 25 percent of Taiwanese exporters plan to expand mainland-bound investment after both sides enter the world trade body, a move expected later this year or early next year.
The figure was nearly doubled that of the 13 percent of respondents who said they would increase their investment at home, according to the survey.
"For the survival of Taiwanese businesses, particularly those of labor-intensive industries, many have already moved to the mainland for its cheap labor and land," said economic professor Liu Pi-chen of the Taiwan University who conducted the survey.
"More are expected to follow suit after the mainland becomes a WTO member since their interest will be better protected under the WTO framework," she said.
China and the United States last week reached an agreement on Beijing's accession to the WTO, resurrecting its hopes of succeeding this year in its 15-year quest to join the trade body.
The accord announced was struck during a meeting of the 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers in the eastern city of Shanghai.
Although high-tech firms showed more willingness to invest locally, the poll said, they faced mounting pressure in cost reduction particularly, in tailor-made manufacturing sectors.
"A number of high-tech firms would eventually have to consider moving to the mainland in order to lower production costs," Liu said.
Some 1,610 local exporters were surveyed, who accounted for about 40 percent of the island's total exports.
Taiwan's exports in the five months to May moved down 9.5 percent at US$52.71 billion.
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