Export Britain


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Largest city
New Taipei

Administrative divisions
22 provinces

New Taiwan dollar (NT$) (TWD)

36,193 km2

(2013) 23,373,517

Calling code

Official language

Latest Business Opportunities

See more opportunities for Taipei.

Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Taipei requires:



Increasingly dynamic and diverse, Taiwan, also known as Taipei, China, is the world’s 24th largest economy, the 16th largest exporter, and the 16th largest importer in merchandise trade. Taiwan is an archipelago of 86 islands, with the largest, Taiwan Island, comprising almost 98% of the country’s land mass of 13,900 square miles. One of Asia’s “Four Tigers,” along with South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, Taiwan has transformed itself through decades of hard work to a well-industrialised and mature economy. From being an underdeveloped, agriculture-based island, Taiwan has grown to be a world-class leader in technology.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 1.5 2.1 3.3
Export of goods and services 0.1 3.8 5.9
Import of goods and services -2.2 4.0 6.8
Inflation 1.9 0.8 1.6
Short-Term interest rates (%) 0.8 0.7 1.3
Exchange rate (per £) 29.62 29.77 29.15
Population 0.5 0.4 0.3
Unit labour cost -4.7 -5.6 -2.4
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

The Taiwanese economy ended 2013 strong, with GDP growing by 1.8% on the quarter. The expansion was driven by domestic demand, in particular by investment. As a whole GDP grew by 2.1% in 2013, a slightly stronger expansion in 2014 of 2.3% is expected. The main drivers will be more robust consumer spending and rising export growth; as the global outlook gradually improves.

Trade outlook

In 2012, Taiwan’s trade represented 140% of GDP and was valued at over $650 billion, making it the world’s 19th largest trader even though it is only the 28th largest economy in the world. Taiwan’s economy focuses on producing parts and components that are incorporated into final products, often sold by companies from Japan, the United States, or European Union. Over 70% of Taiwan’s exports comprise intermediate goods. Additionally, Taiwan businesses rely heavily on overseas production networks to make goods for export. Taiwan’s changing international trade and investment patterns have been characterized by growing economic interdependence with China in particular, but also East Asia more broadly. Taiwan’s trade with ASEAN countries has increased, reflecting the integration by Taiwan business of ASEAN into regional supply chains. 

SWOT analysis

Solid manufacturing industry. Increase in the number of start-up companies.
Rely on imports to meet a large portion of its energy needs. Lack of credit.
Integral part of the supply chain of many global companies.
Political issues with China.

Taipei's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • sector
  • sector
  • manufacturing
  • manufacturing

Fastest-growing exporters into Taipei

1 Malaysia
2 Vietnam
3 Argentina
5 Mexico
6 Canada
7 Turkey
8 Indonesia
9 Saudi
10 Bangladesh

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

With a population of 23 million, Taiwan is a thriving democracy, vibrant market economy, and a highly attractive export market. Taiwan is a sophisticated consumer market, plugged into consumer trends in Japan and Korea. Taiwan is generally a target market for high-quality, differentiated products rather than commodity items. The best prospects for UK businesses include: electronics, chemicals, information and communications products, transportation equipment, machinery. In order for Taiwan to meet its energy needs, coal, oil and gas are increasingly presenting good export opportunities for UK businesses.

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