President Tsai Ing-wen met this morning with Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) President and CEO Ajit Manocha, and emphasized that the government will continue its efforts to make Taiwan a top global investment destination.
In remarks, President Tsai said Mr. Manocha made a deep impression on her during their previous meeting last September when he talked about the impact that the "4Ts"—free trade, talent, tax, and technology investment—have on the semiconductor industry. Since then, she said, the Taiwan government has made good progress in improving the "4Ts" situation. At the end of last year, for example, the government passed the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals to improve both the living and work situations for foreign professionals in Taiwan.
President Tsai then noted that during the last visit by SEMI executives, many semiconductor industry leaders mentioned the undistributed earnings tax issue. The government's recent tax reforms have therefore addressed that issue by cutting the undistributed earnings tax rate in half, from 10% to 5%, to encourage businesses to use profits to make innovative investments. The government has also continued to make the infrastructure improvements that industrial development demands, and expand foreign trade relations.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan is widely recognized as one of the world's most vibrant markets. A few weeks ago, Taiwan's Nikkei Manufacturing PMI reached a new all-time high—and is now higher than countries like Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Key semiconductor industry players like TSMC, ASE, Winbond, ASML, and Micron Technology have also increased their investments in Taiwan. She expressed her confidence in those strategic investments, which will help sustain the domestic economy and enhance Taiwan's international competitiveness.
President Tsai emphasized that the government will continue its efforts to make Taiwan a top global investment destination. She also said she hopes to see more international semiconductor corporations set up R&D centers and production bases here in Taiwan, and we welcome institutional investors, especially for projects like setting up a think tank in Taiwan, an idea that Mr. Manocha broached in their meeting last September. President Tsai then pledged that the government will provide all the assistance required to make that happen.
The visiting delegation also included SEMI Taiwan President Terry Tsao (曹世綸) and SEMI Vice President of Public Advocacy Jonathan Davis.