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September 30, 2009

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Taiwan to lift flat-panel ban

TAIWAN plans to allow its flat panel makers and chip companies to invest in the Chinese mainland to help them secure the mainland market, an island official in charge of the economy has said.

With a huge television market, the mainland has been anxious to look for a partner to help it make flat panels and develop related technologies, Shih Yen-shiang told Taipei's Economic Daily News.

Taiwanese makers may lose the mainland market to their rivals if the island continues to ban flat panel investments in the mainland, he said.

"We wouldn't let the mainland dump us to buy from South Korea," Shih was quoted as saying yesterday.

Other economic officials confirmed the newspaper report.

Authorities may also allow Taiwanese chip makers to invest in the mainland or buy stakes in companies on the mainland using the more advanced 0.13 micron process technology, Shih said.

Taiwan has long banned investment in flat panel and advanced chip making on the mainland, for fear the island would lose its cutting-edge technologies.

But under the island leader Ma Ying-jeou's program to engage the mainland, Taiwan has removed barriers on cross strait investment in recent months.

In June, Taiwan opened up 100 categories of local business, including computer components and cell phones, for mainland investment.

Shih said authorities may also allow mainland firms to buy stakes in Taiwanese flat panel and chip makers when they review the current measures later this year.


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