Located on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, Taiwan remains seismically active. It is the 4th most densely populated region in Asia behind Singapore and Hong Kong and is one of Asia’s four “tiger economies”. The development of export-oriented manufacturing has transformed Taiwan’s economy and labour force into one defined by urban and industrial production. 70% of the world’s integrated circuits are manufactured today in Taiwan, and Taiwanese companies have excelled at mobile phones, computer hardware and electronics engineering. Poverty in Taiwan has almost been eradicated — the per capita gross national income grew from USD 154 in 1951 to USD 23,325 in 2016 with 1.78% of the population now belonging to the low-income bracket.

Following the end of martial rule in 1987, Taiwan has established a vibrant democracy. The Democratic Progressive Party won the election in 2016, bringing Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first female President to power. President Tsai Ing-wen has embarked on policies to secure momentum for new development, including the New Southbound Policy which focuses on enhancing business cooperation and exchange between Taiwan and 18 Asia-Pacific countries.

Five major innovative industries are being developed internally for the future growth of Taiwan: smart machinery, green energy, biotech and pharmaceuticals, national defence, and an “Asian Silicon Valley,” aimed at developing Internet of Things (IoT) technology and entrepreneurial start-ups.

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Taiwan’s 2017 Fact File

World Giving Index Rank

2016
50 35 in 2015
  • 42%giving money
  • 17%volunteering time
  • 58%helping a stranger

Population

2016
23.46 million

GDP (PPP)

2016
USD 1.13 trillion World Rank 22

Poverty

2012
1.5%

Per capita GDP (PPP)

2016
USD 48,095

Global Competitiveness Index

2016
14 15 in 2015

Number of Millionaires

2015
414,000 1.76% of population

Source: CIA, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF, 2016), Credit Suisse (2016), OECD (2016), World Economic Forum (WEF, 2016), World Bank (2017)

Economic Context for Investors

  • Favourable
  • Moderately favourable
  • Unfavourable
Factors Index Score/Rank Description
GDP Growth 2016
Index Score/Rank
1.0%
The economy advanced 1.0% in 2016, higher than the 0.6% growth in 2015. In 2017, the GDP growth is projected to be 1.8%.
Governance 2015
Index Score/Rank
1.1
Taiwan ranked above 87% of 215 countries in the 2015 World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators.
Consumer Market 2015
Index Score/Rank
USD 290 billion
Consumer spending increased by 2% in 2015.
Labour Force 2016
Index Score/Rank
12 million
The workforce has increased by 3% in 2015. However, labour force participation of men has declined due to ageing population.
Infrastructure 2016
Index Score/Rank
5.8
Taiwan ranked 13 among 138 countries for infrastructure in the 2016 WEF’s Global Competitiveness ranking.
Financial Access 2014
Index Score/Rank
91% of the population
The government encourages financial institutions to establish presence in underserved areas. From 2007 to 2016, the Ministry of Finance approved the setting up of 40 branches of domestic banks and credit cooperatives in rural areas. Access to finance increased by 5% from 2011 to 2014.
Digital Access 2015
Index Score/Rank
78% of the population
Internet penetration remained stable at 78% in 2014 and 2015. Taiwan has seen strong growth in mobile broadband subscribers over the past few years driven by growth of 4G services. 73.4% of the population used smartphones in 2016, which is
among the highest in the world.
Ease of Doing Business 2016
Index Score/Rank
10/190
Taiwan’s Ease of Doing Business rank improved from 19 in 2015 to 10 in 2016.
  • Favourable
  • Moderately favourable
  • Unfavourable

SDG Dashboard

Taiwan’s total fertility rate of just over one child per woman is among the lowest in the world, signalling future labour shortages, falling domestic demand, and declining tax revenues. Taiwan’s population is ageing quickly, with the number of people over 65 expected to account for nearly 20% of the island’s total population by 2025.

The new government is looking at preserving the social security net through pension reforms and affordable housing in a sustainable manner, while revitalising the economy through nurturing innovation in five major innovation industries.

Source: sdgindex.org (2016)

Government Focus on Development Gaps

Focus Area Gap Government Focus
Climate action
Gap
Over the last 30 years till 2016, Taiwan’s temperature has risen by 0.29 degrees Celsius per decade, much faster than the global average of 0.07 degrees. Taiwan is prone to typhoons and earthquakes.
Government Focus
The government partnered with the Pacific Disaster Committee in 2010 to host the Global Hazards Information Network (GHIN), a system for providing access to high quality geospatial information to support risk assessment, early warning, response, and other disaster management activities.
Education
Gap
The Education Ministry projected a sharp decline in Taiwan’s population of university students, by as many as 310,000 students between 2013 and 2023.
Government Focus
Beginning 2010, a new ‘12 Year Curriculum’ is being implemented, aiming to include annual international student exchange, domestic and overseas volunteer services, international student scholarships, and employment opportunities for graduates.
Energy access
Gap
Taiwan depends on imports for nearly 98% of its energy consumption. Energy imports increased from 3.88% of Taiwan’s GDP in 2002 to 14.55% in 2012.
Government Focus
The Bureau of Energy’s National Action Plan on Energy Conservation aims to annually increase more than 2% of energy efficiency and decrease energy intensity by 50% in 2025.
Social protection
Gap
By 2025, Taiwan is expected to become a ‘super-aged society’ with 20% of the people aged over 65.
Government Focus
Long Term Care 2.0, passed in 2016, has a budget of USD 100 million and covers people with age related disabilities above the age of 65, and has special provisions for those with other physical or mental disabilities.

Social Economy

Taiwan’s social economy is characterised by prolific social entrepreneurship activity backed by the government.

There are 1000 SEs in Taiwan.

Category Factor Rating Description
SPOs
Factor
Legislative environment
three-quarter SEs can take the form of non-profits or enterprises. Non-profit legal structures are well-defined in the Civil Code. SEs have been incentivised in Taiwanese public policies, through the “Law for Protecting Disabled People”, “Guiding Principles for Taiwanese Social Welfare Policy” and the “Guiding Principles for Social Gender Equality Policy.”
SPOs
Factor
Government support for SEs
three-quarter The government has played an active role in encouraging SEs through subsidies, purchasing preferences and other operational incentives.
SPOs
Factor
SEs across sectors
three-quarter SEs are present across an array of sectors such as differently-abled employment, indigenous groups welfare, sustainable agriculture, energy, education, art and culture.
SPOs
Factor
Presence, size, and maturity of SEs
three-quarter There are about 800 SEs in Taiwan. Most of them are in the early stages of growth.
Investors
Factor
Philanthropic contributions
half It is estimated that the total amount of giving in Taiwan is close to TWD 53.7 billion (USD 1.8 billion) as of 2013.52 Family foundations and HNWIs have a reasonable presence.
Investors
Factor
Presence of social investors
quarter BCI2 is Taiwan’s first impact fund. Mainstream investors such as Verymulam, Cross Capital, Catalyst Capital Group, Avenue Capital also invest in enterprises that have a social impact.
Investors
Factor
Corporate sector
quarter Corporate contribution manifests in grants/immediate donations and disaster relief support. Less than one-third of corporates report on their CSR activities.
Enablers
Factor
Incubators, accelerators, and capacity-builders
quarter Social Enterprise Insights-iLab is a leading social incubator in Taiwan. Partnership Opportunity
Enablers
Factor
Networks and platforms
half BCI2, AVPN, American Chamber of Commerce and British Council run active networks and platforms. Partnership Opportunity
Enablers
Factor
Knowledge and research
quarter Universities in Taiwan such as the National University of Taiwan play a lead role in researching and analysing the space. The Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) has published case studies on social innovation. Partnership Opportunity
Enablers
Factor
Partnerships
quarter The only documented partnership is the BCI2 fund.
Enablers
Factor
Impact Measurement
quarter No data is available for impact measurement practices.

partnership Partnership Opportunity

Demand, Supply and Support Ecosystem in Taiwan

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Social Investment Landscape in Asia

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