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.
High-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.
Taiwan: at a glance
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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:
Taiwan has embarked on an ambitious path for offshore wind with plans to develop 5.5GW of capacity by 2025 and a further 10GW by 2035.
A way into the wider region
Taiwan is viewed as a steppingstone into markets in the wider region such as Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, which each have their own ambitious plans to develop offshore wind power. Many UK offshore wind companies have set up regional hubs in Taiwan.
Systems and software integration
Taiwan is a world leader in hardware for 5G, Internet of Things, and AI applications. There is great opportunity for the integration of UK systems and software into Taiwanese companies’ global supply chains.
Search for new markets
Taiwan’s world-leading hardware companies have built their businesses in the United States and Asia. These companies are looking to explore collaboration opportunities with UK tech firms, this is both to improve their positioning among the competition and to help them break into new European markets.
Strength in innovation
Innovation is a key strength of Taiwan’s economy. It has exceptional experience in commercialisation and scaling-up of technology, making it an ideal partner for the UK’s strengths in research.
Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) joined the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) in May 2019. This means it is part of a network of 38 regulators, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, all working to support financial innovation in the interests of consumers.
Encouraging FinTech startups
The Department for International Trade and Taiwan’s Financial Services Roundtable signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2018 on FinTech promotion and cooperation, marking the launch of Taiwan’s ‘FinTech Space’ initiative. This initiative aims to help overseas FinTech start-ups enter the Taiwan market, including through free hot-desking.
Food and drink
Food and drink is one of Taiwan’s fastest growing sectors. Local supermarkets are increasing their ranges of imported foods to meet demand. In August 2018, Taiwan granted market access for UK pork products with over £4.58 million worth of pork shipped to Taiwan in the first year alone.
Fashion and luxury brands
The market for youth fashion in Taiwan is strongly influenced by international styles and trends. Classic British styles are popular among Taiwanese youth. It also has a resilient luxury goods market with designer brands such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Ted Baker, and Paul Smith proving popular.
Whisky and other spirits
Taiwan is a lucrative market for Scotch whisky. There is a particularly high demand for premium whiskies, and gin is becoming increasingly popular. Non-alcoholic drinks and mixers are also becoming more popular.
English for special purposes
Taiwan’s administration is focused on improving English language training for professionals in specific sectors, prioritising the civil service and financial and legal services. There are opportunities for UK education companies to provide professional development services, consultancy, and English training programs in these target industries.
Taiwan has a high rate of internet penetration and a strong appetite for EdTech solutions. Opportunities exist for UK companies specialising in online learning platforms and distance learning tools.