Hui-Ju Chang, Mo-Li Lin and Ming-Lien Wung are current semester exchange students from National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan
This article briefly covers Taiwan’s economy and preeminent industries for Miami students and faculty who might want to study, work, or travel in Taiwan. We are exchange students from National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan, and we are very pleased to introduce our beloved Taiwan. The following information includes the overall financial environment of Taiwan and its leading industries of IT technology and biotechnology.
Taiwan ranks 13th overall among 139 countries and 4th place in Asia in the 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum. Located in the hub of the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan has excellent geographical advantages and cultural diversity. People in Taiwan not only have been influenced by a 5000-year Chinese history, but also understand the cultures of its adjacent countries, such as Japan and Korea. In addition, most of the Asian professional talent and skilled labor force has studied in the Western world. As a result, Taiwan is the gateway to oriental culture and is a good entry point for foreigners who want to enter the Asian market.
Taiwan’s economy is stable and vibrant and has a tightly integrated industrial infrastructure. The Global Competitiveness Report indicated that Taiwan’s financial market development has improved by 19 positions in the financial market development pillar to the 35th position. Moreover, after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002 and recently contracting the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with Beijing in 2010, cross-strait relations with China have now entered a new era. In addition, investment and tourism have gradually improved in Taiwan. As a 2009 Financial Times article entitled "Opportunity Knocks on Taiwan Market" pointed out, with the European and American capital markets suffering under the impact of the financial tsunami; the gradual normalization of cross-strait relations presented Taiwan with the opportunity, and the wherewithal, to become Asia's NASDAQ. As the advantages of the ECFA gradually come to be more widely felt, the Taiwanese government’s mission is to build Taiwan into a first-rate capital market.
Taiwan’s high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. Not only is it the world's largest supplier of contract computer chip, its companies also dominate in manufacturing LCD panels, DRAM computer memory, networking equipments, and notebook computers. The Taiwanese benchmark index of electronics stocks is up 76% and, thanks in part to strong demand from China, orders keep coming for more chips, PCs, and other devices. At the end of 2008, Taiwan was ranked second in IT competitiveness after the U.S.
The pressure from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony, and other big companies to cut prices has created a dead end for many manufacturers. Hence, Taiwan's top tech players are shifting out from low-margin businesses into innovate-oriented businesses, such as smartphones, mobile devices, solar-power chips, and other high value-added services. In addition, companies are also making efforts to build up their own brands. More and more companies are becoming global brands. These include HTC, one of the world’s largest makers of handsets, and Acer, a desktop and laptop PC maker. Acer surpassed Dell in the third quarter of 2010 to become the number two PC vender/brand worldwide. Furthermore, Asus, another computer product manufacturer, provides almost 30% of the motherboards in PCs sold worldwide. D-Link, the market leader in Wi-Fi products is also a well-known company around the globe. In 2007, Bill Gates said, "There is an amazing amount of innovation in the PCs and mobile devices coming from Taiwan. Because Taiwan is an important global leader in innovation, Microsoft will set the Windows Media Engineering center in Taiwan." Having stepped out from being component suppliers and created its own brands, the Taiwanese technology industry is indeed moving forward to a very promising future.
Since 1982, biotechnology has also been another of the priority industries in Taiwan. Relevant advantages for Taiwan include small and medium enterprises that are innovative and flexible, outstanding clinical research, and abundant biotechnological personnel. ECFA biotechnology is actually the main cause of developing corporation between Taiwan and China. The biotechnology in Taiwan is still in the stage of growth, the potentials in this industry are unlimited.
There are three main types of biotechnology in Taiwan-pharmaceutical, medical equipment, and emerging biotechnology. Taiwan is well-regarded for manufacturing medical equipment and maintains a continuous growth even during the current period of global financial recession. Take the electronic thermometer as an example. Every three electronic thermometers sold is produced by Microlife, a Taiwanese global medical equipment company. In the area of emerging biotechnology industry, Taiwan is affectionately named the "Orchid Kingdom" because of the perfect combination of developing biotechnology with agriculture.
Taiwan has gradually developed a market that is quite competitive in Asia and around the world. If you study business or a related field and are interested in working in Asia, Taiwan is a dynamic place to develop professionally and explore Asian and various cultures.
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