Taiwan Economy

Is Taiwan a rich country?

Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy that is driven largely by industrial manufacturing, and especially exports of electronics, machinery, and petrochemicals. This heavy dependence on exports exposes the economy to fluctuations in global demand. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, low birth rate, rapidly aging population, and increasing competition from China and other Asia Pacific markets are other major long-term challenges.

Following the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with China in June 2010, Taiwan in July 2013 signed a free trade deal with New Zealand - Taipei’s first-ever with a country with which it does not maintain diplomatic relations - and, in November of that year, inked a trade pact with Singapore. However, follow-on components of the ECFA, including a signed agreement on trade in services and negotiations on trade in goods and dispute resolution, have stalled. In early 2014, the government bowed to public demand and proposed a new law governing the oversight of cross-Strait agreements, before any additional deals with China are implemented; the legislature has yet to vote on such legislation, leaving the future of ECFA uncertain. President TSAI since taking office in May 2016 has promoted greater economic integration with South and Southeast Asia through the New Southbound Policy initiative and has also expressed interest in Taiwan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as bilateral trade deals with partners such as the US. These overtures have likely played a role in increasing Taiwan’s total exports, which rose 11% during the first half of 2017, buoyed by strong demand for semiconductors.

Taiwan's total fertility rate of just over one child per woman is among the lowest in the world, raising the prospect of future labor shortages, falling domestic demand, and declining tax revenues. Taiwan's population is aging quickly, with the number of people over 65 expected to account for nearly 20% of the island's total population by 2025.

The island runs a trade surplus with many economies, including China and the US, and its foreign reserves are the world's fifth largest, behind those of China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland. In 2006, China overtook the US to become Taiwan's second-largest source of imports after Japan. China is also the island's number one destination for foreign direct investment. Taiwan since 2009 has gradually loosened rules governing Chinese investment and has also secured greater market access for its investors on the mainland. In August 2012, the Taiwan Central Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cross-Strait currency settlement with its Chinese counterpart. The MOU allows for the direct settlement of Chinese renminbi (RMB) and the New Taiwan dollar across the Strait, which has helped Taiwan develop into a local RMB hub.

Closer economic links with the mainland bring opportunities for Taiwan’s economy but also pose challenges as political differences remain unresolved and China’s economic growth is slowing. President TSAI’s administration has made little progress on the domestic economic issues that loomed large when she was elected, including concerns about stagnant wages, high housing prices, youth unemployment, job security, and financial security in retirement. TSAI has made more progress on boosting trade with South and Southeast Asia, which may help insulate Taiwan’s economy from a fall in mainland demand should China’s growth slow in 2018.

Taiwan Economy Data

What is the GDP of Taiwan?

Currency Name and Code New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $1,143,277,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $518,800,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 2.2%
GDP Per Capita $47,500.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 1.9%
GDP by Sector- Industry 34.8%
GDP by Sector- services 63.2%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 53%

government consumption: 14.1%

investment in fixed capital: 21.2%

investment in inventories: 0.3%

exports of goods and services: 64.7%

imports of goods and services: -53.3%
Population Below Poverty Line 1.16%
Inflation Rate 1%
Labor Force 11,070,000
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 5%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 36.2%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 58.8%
Unemployment Rate 5.2%
Fiscal Year 1 July - 30 June
Annual Budget $72,240,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -2.5%
Public Debt (% of GDP) 33.3%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 16.1%
Major Industries electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing
Industrial Growth Rate 26.4%
Agriculture Products rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk, fish
Exchange Rate per US Dollar new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 2.9%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Taiwan

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