International business in Taiwan

Taiwan is an East-Asian island with 35,980 sq kilometres of tropical, mountainous land that is also the home to many highly advanced cities. With a multiparty democratic system, this nation has developed its industry and international trade towards immense economic growth.

Taiwan depends greatly on Mainland China for its import requirements. The island holds a trade surplus while its foreign reserves are the world’s fifth largest. It has a highly active R&D and product innovation industry. Overall, Taiwan has a rich and promising economy with a friendly international trade climate.

What are Taiwan’s vital data points?

Population (million) 23.6
GDP billion USD) 605
GDP per capita (USD) 25, 941
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 48,095
Purchasing Power per dollar (compared to the US) 55%
Surface Area (SQ KM) 35, 980
% of the population living in urban areas 78.5%
% of GDP added by agriculture – industry – services 1.8%  – 35.4% – 62.8%

What is Taiwan’s business index?

Taiwan ranks 15th out of 189 countries in the world for ‘Doing Business’.

What are the business opportunities in Taiwan?

Some of the top industrial sectors in Taiwan are:

  • Electronics
  • Communications and Information Technology products
  • Petroleum refining
  • Chemicals
  • Textiles
  • Iron and steel
  • Machinery

Taiwan is a major hub for electronic design and manufacturing and is home to global electronic brands like HTC, Acer, ASUS, and Trend Micro.

What are Taiwan’s top export commodities?

  • Semi-conductors
  • Petrochemicals
  • Automobile parts
  • Ships
  • Wireless communication equipment
  • Steel
  • Electronics

Taiwan’s top export partners (percentage of total exports) (2012 est)

  • China (27.9%)
  • US (14.1%)
  • Hong Kong (12.3%)
  • Japan (7.1%)
  • Singapore (5.5%)

Taiwan’s political system

Taiwan follows an independent multi-party democratic political system. Under this methodology, the President and Vice President are directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a term of 4 years.

The next elections are to be held on January 2024.

Governmental power is implemented via 5 branches known as ‘Yuans’, including the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Examination and Control yuans.

What are Taiwan’s important festivals and national holidays?

Here is a list of national holidays for Taiwan in 2021 on which most schools, colleges, institutes and organisations remain closed:

Holiday Date
Republic Day/New Year’s Day January 1
Chinese New Year’s Eve February 7
Chinese New Year’s Day and Holidays February 8, 9, 10, 11.12
228 Memorial Day February 28, 29
Tomb Sweeping Day April 4
Children’s Day April 4
Labour Day May 1, 2
Dragon Boat Festival June 9
Mid-Autumn Festival September 15
National Day/Double Tenth Day October 10

Being a global trade-friendly country, Taiwan holds numerous trade fairs for business to business interactions that promote international trade.

In fact, since international trade is vital to the country’s economy, the Taiwanese government offers several support mechanisms to invite and nurture foreign investments. Taiwan’s fast emerging industries include Biotechnology, Healthcare, Organic Farming and Tourism with Electronics, Machinery and Banking forming a long standing and sound financial foundation.

Though Taiwan’s advanced economy and hospitable environment make it an attractive business destination, local market knowledge is paramount to get ahead in Taiwan’s unique market set-up.

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