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Taiwan


    • Overview:
      Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with considerable government guidance of investment and foreign trade and partial government ownership of some large banks and industrial firms. Real growth in GNP has averaged about 9% a year during the past three decades. Export growth has been even faster and has provided the impetus for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are remarkably low. Agriculture contributes about 4% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952. Taiwan currently ranks as number 13 among major trading countries. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being replaced with more capital- and technology-intensive industries. Taiwan has become a major investor in China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The tightening of labor markets has led to an influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $257 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      6% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $12,070 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      5.2% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      1.6% (1994)

    • Budget:

        revenues:
        $30.3 billion

        expenditures:
        $30.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1991 est.)

    • Exports:
      $93 billion (f.o.b., 1994)

        commodities:
        electrical machinery 19.7%, electronic products 19.6%, textiles 10.9%, footwear 3.3%, foodstuffs 1.0%, plywood and wood products 0.9% (1993 est.)

        partners:
        US 27.6%, Hong Kong 21.7%, EC countries 15.2%, Japan 10.5% (1994 est.)

    • Imports:
      $85.1 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

        commodities:
        machinery and equipment 15.7%, electronic products 15.6%, chemicals 9.8%, iron and steel 8.5%, crude oil 3.9%, foodstuffs 2.1% (1993 est.)

        partners:
        Japan 30.1%, US 21.7%, EC countries 17.6% (1993 est.)

    • External debt:
      $620 million (1992 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 4.5% (1994 est.); accounts for more than 40% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        capacity:
        21,460,000 kW

        production:
        108 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        4,789 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      electronics, textiles, chemicals, clothing, food processing, plywood, sugar milling, cement, shipbuilding, petroleum refining

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 4% of GDP and 16% of labor force (includes part-time farmers); heavily subsidized sector; major crops - vegetables, rice, fruit, tea; livestock - hogs, poultry, beef, milk; not self-sufficient in wheat, soybeans, corn; fish catch increasing, reached 1.4 million metric tons in 1988

    • Illicit drugs:
      an important heroin transit point; also a major drug money laundering center

    • Economic aid:

        recipient:
        US, including Ex-Im (FY46-82), $4.6 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $500 million

    • Currency:
      1 New Taiwan dollar (NT$) = 100 cents

    • Exchange rates:
      New Taiwan dollars per US$1 - 26.2 (1994), 26.6 (1993), 25.4 (1992), 25.748 (1991), 27.108 (1990), 26.407 (1989)

    • Fiscal year:
      1 July - 30 June






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