Economy of Taiwan

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Economy - overview: Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have grown even faster and have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are low; the trade surplus is substantial; and foreign reserves are the world's fourth largest. Agriculture contributes 3% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved offshore and replaced with more capital- and technology-intensive industries. Taiwan has become a major investor in China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The tightening of labor markets has led to an influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the Asian financial crisis in 1998-99. Growth in 2001 will depend largely on conditions in Taiwan's export markets and may be about 5%.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $386 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (1999 est.), 6.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,400 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 33%
services: 64% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: 1% (1999 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (1999 est.), 1.3% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 9.8 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: services 55%, industry 37%, agriculture 8% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 2.9% (1999 est.), 3% (2000 est.)
Budget:
revenues:  $42.74 billion
expenditures:  $48.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 139.676 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  67.26%
hydro:  6.32%
nuclear:  26.42%
other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 129.899 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Exports: $121.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999), $148.38 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 51%, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals
Exports - partners: US 23.5%, Hong Kong 21.1%, Europe 16%, ASEAN 12.2%, Japan 11.2% (2000)
Imports: $101.7 billion (c.i.f., 1999), $140.01 billion (c.i.f., 2000)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 51%, minerals, precision instruments
Imports - partners: Japan 27.5%, US 17.9%, Europe 13.6% (2000)
Debt - external: $40 billion (2000)
Currency: new Taiwan dollar (TWD)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Taiwan > Map Economy History