Amended factory law to boost investment by up to NT$2 trillion: MOEA
At the end of June, the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Factory Management Act, which aims to promote industrial development and strengthen factory management in Taiwan, and the new law is expected to encourage currently unlicensed low pollution factories to become legal.
The MOEA said the ministry plans to come up with complementary rules to the amended law on how these low pollution factories can become legal in September at the earliest.
Under the amended law, unlicensed low pollution factories have to apply to the MOEA within two years and submit a proposal to improve pollution and strengthen safety in three years to change their status from illegal to special factories.
The amendment aims to solve problems arising from illegal factories in the hope that improving their management will enable them to make a bigger contribution to the economy, the MOEA said.
The ministry estimates that there are currently 38,000 unregistered factories in Taiwan on 14,000 hectares of farm land islandwide, as well as 7,000 with temporary operational licenses.
If each one invests NT$30 million-NT$50 million to improve environmental protection and safety over the next 10 years, total investment would range from NT$1 trillion-NT$2 trillion, the ministry said.
The MOEA said that of the unlicensed factories with temporary approval for operations, some such as Repon, which sells ball-bearing slides globally, have high market visibility.
The newly amended law will give them a path to become legal and encourage them to invest more, the ministry added.
While some civic groups have criticized the amended law as protecting unlicensed factories, the MOEA said the new law aims to ensure these plants are better managed, improve their working environment and strengthen workplace safety.
The MOEA met with specialists from the Council of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in May to discuss how to identify low pollution factories and come up with guidance.
Other complementary rules to the amended law are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, the ministry said.