Taiwan has evolved into a smart and diversified economy. It has favourable innovation attributes and its location positions Taiwan as a gateway to China and the ASEAN region.

Economy

Taiwan’s technology-driven and advanced financial services economy supports high disposable incomes, creating demand for high-quality food, education, and products and services.

The Taiwan Government launched the New Southbound Policy in 2016 to drive economic development and regional integration between ASEAN, South Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Key aspects of the New Southbound Policy are:

  • economic and trade relations
  • science, technology, and culture
  • the sharing of resources, talent, and markets
  • new cooperation for a ’sense of economic community’.

The Taiwan Government’s ‘5+2’ Innovative Industry Plan supports 7 industries and projects to drive Taiwan’s industrial growth and sustainable development. This focus is expected to move Taiwan from contract manufacturing to a new commercial model of high-value-added business, services and solutioning. Key aspects are:

  • intelligent machinery
  • Asia Silicon Valley
  • green energy
  • biomedicine
  • national defence and aerospace
  • new agriculture
  • the Circular Economy.

Taiwan is one of the most innovative regions in the world as measured by numbers of patents lodged and international designs awarded.

Trade

Taiwan is Queensland’s fifth-largest export market. Its unique relationship with China makes it an important market for Queensland companies.

Taiwan’s ageing demographic and need for food and energy security will drive opportunities for Queensland in the future.

Taiwan became an ‘aged’ society in 2018, when its population over the age of 65 surpassed 14%. Taiwan is expected to become a ‘super’ aged society by 2026 (over 20% in this age group), making it one of the fastest ageing societies in the world. It will therefore require sophisticated aged care infrastructure and services.

Taiwan currently imports almost all of its energy needs. The Taiwan Government plans to phase out nuclear power plants and have an energy mix containing 50% natural gas, 30% coal and
20% renewable energy by 2025.

Greater energy security will drive its increasing interest in renewable energy applications in wind, tidal and solar.

Alternative fuels, such as biofuels, will also become a priority due to the Green Energy and Circular Economy initiatives.

Investment

Taiwan is a major investor in mainland China.

Its advanced economy is considered a gateway to China and ASEAN, with a multi-billion dollar investment footprint in these countries.

A total of 5 Taiwanese banking institutions currently have branch offices operating in Queensland. This significant investment is about to increase, with a sixth Taiwanese bank planning to open a Queensland branch, which will provide further funds, employment and economic benefits to the state.

Renewable energy a focus for Taiwan.

Taiwan opportunities

Current

Current

  • Urban infrastructure
  • Food and agribusiness
  • Education and training
  • Innovative technology
  • Health
  • Tourism

Sector opportunities in Taiwan

Urban infrastructure

’Soon after ROC President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016, the Government announced the New Energy Policy, aimed at phasing out nuclear energy and increasing the share of renewables in electricity generation to 20% by 2025.

Department of International Cooperation (2018) Taiwan’s New Energy Policy.

Taiwan’s large cities are undertaking ambitious urban renewal plans for smart infrastructure that will procure a broad range of state-of-the-art goods and services, including:

  • smart public housing
  • smart transportation
  • smart health care
  • smart education
  • smart payments
  • cybersecurity.

Taiwan also hosts Asia’s largest Smart City Summit and Expo in March each year.

Food and agribusiness

Taiwan places a high priority on food quality and safety. It demands clean and safe products, and has one of the world’s highest per capita consumption rates of fresh fruit.1
Opportunities exist for:

  • fresh fruit
  • natural and certified organic food
  • red meat
  • high-quality packaged food
  • food ingredients
  • agtech.

1National Development Council. (2017). Taiwan Statistical Data Book 2017.

Education and training

Education and training is the cornerstone of Queensland’s long-term partnership with Taiwan. English-language and vocational education and training programs are of high priority to service the requirements of Taiwanese international students.

In 2017, Queensland was the most popular Australian state for Taiwanese international student enrolment. Australia is the second-most popular country for Taiwanese international students after the USA.

In 2017, Taiwan is Queensland’s seventh-largest source of international student enrolments.2

 

Innovative technology

The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative has provided $100,000 funding each for two Taiwanese start-ups to develop their projects in Queensland.

Taiwan fosters an advanced and growing smart technology and start-up ecosystem. Collaborative partnerships continue to support the co-development of products with opportunities for global export. Key innovative technologies are:

  • biotechnology
  • green technology
  • agricultural technology
  • virtual reality, artificial intelligence, internet of things and ‘Big Data’
  • smart machinery

2Australian Government Department of Education and Training.