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The country of Taiwan is located centrally in the Asia Pacific region. It spans a total of 36,000km2 making it the second largest island in the Republic of China (ROC). The total population is 23.2 million, of which almost 10% live within the greater metropolitan region of the capital city of Taipei.

Taiwan is a member of several organisations including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Last year Taiwan signed three financial memorandums with China, which are favourable for the business investor, and beneficial to the country as a whole. The country hopes this will attract more businesses to the area, and brighten the economic outlook. The national currency is the new Taiwan dollar (TWD).


Exports from the country contribute a majority of Taiwan's total GDP figure, which stands at $308.26 billion. The largest exports include electronics, machinery, chemicals, metals, plastics and medical instruments. Major exports partners are China, Hong Kong, the United States and Japan. Its three main ports are Chi-lung, Kaohsiung and Taichung.

As with many advanced countries, the economy has evolved from largely manufacturing based, to mainly service sector based, which has expanded rapidly and now employs over half of the total workforce. The largest employers in the country are the Chinese Petroleum Corporation, Acer inc, Asus, Taiwan Power Company, and Taiwan Semi-Conductor Manufacturing Company, however small businesses make up the majority of business types, with 1 in 8 people owning a personal business. Agriculture accounts for just 2.6% of the countries total GDP, agricultural land is mostly used for growing fruits, sugar cane and rice.


As Taiwan's economy is so heavily based around exports, extensive transportation links run across the country, not just for cargo, but for passengers too. There are a total of 40 airports situated on the mainland, of which 7 are intentional. By far the biggest airport is Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), which handles over 20 million passengers a year, and offers worldwide flights. Other notable airports include Kaohsiung (KHH) and Tapei Songshan (TSA).

The road system includes over 41,000km of roadways, consisting of 10 highways, 88 provincial highways and 205 country routes. Some of the major routes are subject to toll booths which help raise money to re-invest back into the transportation infrastructure and help improve services. Rail transport is generally technologically advanced, utilizing bullet style trains based on the Shinkansen system, where trains can travel up to 250km and hour, allowing for quick and convenient transport across the island of Taiwan. The entire transportation system is maintained and operated by the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

Taiwan boasts a modern and efficient telecommunications structure, with a choice of high end phone providers and a strong Internet backbone. Most of the countries electricity needs are generated by coal power, followed by nuclear power, however Taiwan is committed to reducing carbon emissions and aims to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources.


Taiwan has an estimated labour force of just over 11.2 million people (2011), 58% of which work in the service industry. The Taiwanese people make up 84% of the total population, other residents come from mainland China, and South Asian areas. Mandarin Chinese is the official language, with Taiwanese being a minor language, and several Hakka dialects spoken in some communities.

Taiwan has an excellent education infrastructure, it is compulsory for all children to attend school up until the age of 16, and after completion of secondary school over 95% of pupils continue onto further education. The Taiwanese have a strong education ethic and take price in their institutes, helping give a national literacy rate of 96.1%. The ministry of education oversees the development and running of the states schools and colleges. There are 79 universities and higher education facilities located in Taiwan, of which roughly 20% are located in Taipei. It also has particularly advanced research institutes and facilities, and students typically excel in mathematics and the sciences. The strong education system helps produce an educated workforce and a gives Taiwan a low unemployment rate of 5%.

Business Costs

Taiwan's office rental costs are lower than the average costs in many large European cities. Prices are highest in the capital city of Taipei, where the average commercial space costs $44.11 per square foot per year. The rental market in Taiwan is also stable. Utility and additional office costs are lower than those expected in much of the Western world.

For the last few years the national corporate tax rate in Taiwan has been 20% making them more favourable for foreign investors. This is much lower than the average tax rate for the European Union. There are two separate tax rates in Taiwan, those for non-residents (people residing in the country for less than 183 days a year) and a tax for official residents. The non-resident individual tax is a favourable flat rate of 20%, and taxes are not required to be paid on any income earned abroad. Resident taxes are based on a progressive system ranging from 6 % - 40% of all income earned. The value added tax rate still remains extremely low at just 6% for most goods and services in the country.
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