Exporting guide to Taiwan

Taiwan is an advanced, high-tech economy with a strategic location in the Asia Pacific region. It has modern infrastructure and its banking, insurance and securities sectors are being liberalised.

Stable business environment

Taiwan is a stable market economy that showed robust growth in 2020, despite the global impact of COVID-19. The Taiwanese are well-educated, with 45% of people aged 25 to 64 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Hi-tech world leaders

Taiwanese firms are world leaders in high-tech manufacturing sectors such as semiconductors, laptops, servers, and smartphone components. Taiwan is also home to the contract manufacturing giants TSMC and Foxconn. Decades of investment and research has given Taiwan a central position in global technology supply chains.

Future strategic industries

In 2020, Taiwan outlined its ‘Six Core Strategic Industries’: digital technology, cyber security, medical technology and precision health, green and renewable energy, national defence and strategic industries, and strategic stockpile industries. These industries are aligned with the UK’s 2021 ‘Build Back Better’: the UK plan for growth.

Taipei at night

Ease of doing business

15th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

New Taiwan dollar

Business language

Mandarin Chinese

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$24,971

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

3.1%

(IMF, 2020)

Time zone

GMT +8

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Taiwan have identified opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:

Doing business in Taiwan

Preparing to export

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Taiwan, provided certain conditions are met.

VAT is applicable to general industries at a rate of 5%. For more information, see the website of the Taiwanese Taxation Administration, Ministry of Finance (in Chinese).

Import duties

For information on import duties, see the Taiwan Customs Administration website.

Regulations

Agricultural, industrial and mining products must follow requirements set by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI).

BSMI also inspect imported agricultural, fishery and food products. You can find more information on the Ministry of Health and Welfare website.

Corporate tax

The corporate income tax rate is 20%. For more information, visit Taiwanese Taxation Administration, Ministry of Finance.

Operating in Taiwan

Intellectual property

We advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

Taiwan has been an official World Trade Organisation member since 2002. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office is responsible for the administration of patent, trademark and copyright laws.

Payment terms

Your contract will specify the terms for payment. If there’s any dispute, you’ll need to go through the Taiwanese legal system to resolve it. You can contact the Department for International Trade Team at the British Office in Taipei to help you find a local financial adviser.

Market access

There are market access barriers in particular sectors such as lamb and offshore wind. For more information on market access visit Trade Barriers in Taiwan.

The UK has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan so limited consular services are available to British nationals.

In addition, you should be aware of the ‘Guanxi’ element of doing business, which is based on mutual interest or benefit.

Geographical considerations

You should be aware that Taiwan is in an earthquake zone. You may also find that business can be impacted by typhoons from May to September. High-tech manufacturing was also impacted by a water shortage in 2021.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.