An additional five applications by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in a government-subsidized program aimed at enabling SMEs to reach global markets were approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Wednesday.

The program was launched in July and has investment of more than NT$17.9 billion (US$576.4 million) from 27 SMEs and created 1,533 local job opportunities, the ministry said.

Hook and loop fasteners manufacturer Lovetex Industrial Corp (國紡企業) is to invest more than NT$1.1 billion to set up a global headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止) and establish a smart manufacturing plant in Yunlin County after receiving orders from clients such as Velcro BVBA and Aplix SA, the ministry said.

Another SME benefiting from transferred orders amid a US-China trade dispute is Shih Hsiang Auto Parts Co (世祥汽材), which specializes in the production of control arms.

The company, which supplies US auto parts companies Federal-Mogul Corp and Dorman Products Inc, plans to invest NT$2.1 billion to set up a new plant in Yunlin’s Dounan Township (斗南), the ministry said.

Ruey Chang Printing & Packing Foil Co (瑞昌彩藝), which specializes in packing materials, plans to invest more than NT$100 million to renew equipment at its plant in the Taichung Industrial Park (台中工業區) to incorporate environmentally friendly procedures into its manufacturing process, the said.

Ming-Li Precision Steel Molds Co (名力精密鋼模) is also looking to set up plant in the Taichung Industrial Park, with an investment of more than NT$500 million, which would also cover fully automated production lines, the ministry said.

Ming-Li, which supplies companies such as Canon Inc, Foxconn Technology Co (富士康科技集團) and Gates Corp, decided to invest because it is awaiting orders from France-based automotive supplier Valeo SA, which would see the company become a tier-two supplier.

CKM Applied Material Corp (青鋼應用材料), the only light steel frame company listed on the Taipei Exchange, plans to invest NT$500 million to set up a new plant in Tainan’s Tree Valley Park (樹谷園區), as the company looks to retreat from low-priced competition in China, the ministry said.

In related news, the ministry has also approved applications by JMC Electronics Co (易華電子) and Chen Nan Iron Wire Co (震南鐵線) to a similar program that focuses on retaining investment in Taiwan.

JMC, which specializes in chip-on-film technology for LCD driver ICs, is to invest NT$2 billion to add production lines at its plant in Kaohsiung’s Nantze Export Processing Zone (楠梓加工出口區), while Chen Nan, which manufactures fasteners and steel wire, is to invest NT$1.2 billion to expand the second phase of a production line at its plant in Pingtung County’s Sinyuan Township (新園), the ministry said.