Economy overview: Taiwan is a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually declining levels of government control over investment and foreign trade. In line with this trend, some large state-owned banks and industrial enterprises will be privatized. Real GDP growth has averaged about 8% per year over the past thirty years. Exports grew even faster and provided the conditions for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are low; the trade balance is constantly positive; Taiwan’s overseas investment is the third largest in the world. The contribution of agriculture to GDP is 3% (in 1952 – 35%) Traditional labor-intensive industries are gradually being forced out abroad and replaced by capital-intensive and high-tech industries. Taiwan has become the largest investor in China, Thailand, Indonesia, in the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. The shrinking workforce is leading to an influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal. As a result of conservative financial policies and entrepreneurial strategies, Taiwan was less affected than its other neighbors in the region by the Asian financial crisis in 1998-99. Growth in 2001 mainly depends on the situation in the export markets and may be around 5%. See topb2bwebsites.com to know more about Taiwan in 2004.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $386 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 6.3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity, $17,400 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 3%; industry: 33%; services: 64% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 1% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 1.3% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 9.8 million people (2000 est.).
Employment structure: services 55%, industry 37%, agriculture 8% (1999 est.).
Unemployment rate: 3% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $42.74 billion; expenditures: $48.8 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (2000 est.).
Spheres of economy: electronics, oil refining, chemical industry, textile production, steel industry, mechanical engineering, cement production, food production.
Growth in industrial production: 8% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 139.676 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 67.26%; hydropower: 6.32%; nuclear fuel: 26.42%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 129.899 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruits, tea; pork, poultry, beef, milk; fish.
Export: $148.38 billion (free on board, 2000)
Export items: electrical and mechanical equipment 51%, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals.
Export partners: USA 23.5%, Hong Kong 21.1%, Europe 16%, ASEAN countries 12.2%, Japan 11.2% (2000).
Imports: $140.01 billion (S.I.F., 2000)
Import items: electrical and mechanical equipment 51%, mineral raw materials, precision manufacturing equipment.
Import partners: Japan 27.5%, USA 17.9%, Europe 13.6% (2000).
External debt: $40 billion (2000)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: New Taiwan dollar.
Currency code: TWD.
Exchange rate: TWD/USD – 33.082 (end 2000), 31.395 (end 1999), 32.216 (1998), 32.052 (1997), 27.5 (1996).
Fiscal Year: July 1-June 30 (until FY98-99); July 1, 1999-December 31, 2000 (FY2000); calendar year (after FY2000).
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 12.49 million (September 2000).
Mobile cell phones: 16 million (September 2000).
Telephone system: provides telecommunication services required by business and private users; internal: quite modern; fully digital; international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), the Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, the Middle East and Western Europe (1999).
Broadcast stations: AM -218, FM – 333, shortwave – 50 (1999).
Radio receivers: 16 million (1994).
Television broadcast stations: 29 (and 2 repeaters) (1997).
TVs: 8.8 million (1998).
Internet country code: tw
Internet service providers: 8 (2000).
Number of users: 6.4 million (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 4,600 km (519 km electrified); narrow gauge: 4,600 km (1.067 m gauge); note: only 1,108 km (including the electrified part) is used for public transportation by the Taiwan Railways Administration, the remaining 3,492 km is used by industry (1999).
Roads: total: 34,901 km; paved: 31,271 km (including 538 km of motorways); unpaved: 3,630 km (1998 est.).
Pipelines: for oil products -3,400 km; for natural gas – 1,800 km (1999).
Ports and harbors: Kaohsiung, Suao, Taichung, Ji-long (Keelung), Hualien.
Merchant navy: total: 167 ships (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 4,768,145 gross register tons / 7,508,941 long tons of deadweight; ships of various types: dry cargo ships – 45, cargo ships – 29, combined dry cargo ships – 1, container ships – 65, oil tankers – 17, refrigerated ships – 8, ferries – 2 (2000 est.).
Airports: 39 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 35; over 3,047 m: 8; from 2438 to 3047 m:9; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8; from 914 to 1,523 m: 7; less than 914 m: 3 (200 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 4; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; less than 914 m: 3 (2000 est.). Helipads: 3 (2000 est.).
Branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Coastal Patrol and Coastal Defense Units, Armed Forces Reserve, Auxiliary Forces.
Enlistment age: 19 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 6,575,689 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 5,025,856 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 198,766 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $8.042 billion (1998-99)
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.8% (1998-99).
International issues International disputes: Taiwan is involved in a multilateral dispute with China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam (possibly also Brunei’s involvement) over the Spratly Islands; The para-rural islands are occupied by China but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; Taiwan, like China, lays claim to the Japanese-ruled Senkaku Islands.
Illicit drugs: transit point for heroin and methamphetamines; a big problem is the domestic consumption of these drugs.