Nominal: $423.0 billion
Nominal rank: 23th (2010)
Nominal: $16.372 (2009)
Nominal rank: 37th;
$18,300 (2010 IMF estimate)
Electronics, communications and information technology products, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Agricultural: Rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Taiwan has a developed capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by the Republic of China (ROC) government which governs Taiwan. In keeping with this trend, most large government-owned banks and industrial firms have been privatized. Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have grown even faster and since World War II, have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are low; the trade surplus is substantial; and foreign reserves are the world's fourth largest. Agriculture contributes 3% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952, and the service sector makes up 73% of the economy. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved off-shore and replaced with more capital- and technology-intensive industries, as well as creative industries.
Taiwanese investors and businesses have become major investors in mainland China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The tightening of labor markets has led to an influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little from the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1999 compared to many of its neighbors. Unlike neighboring Japan and South Korea, small and medium-sized businesses make up a large proportion of businesses in Taiwan, accounting for 97.7% of all enterprises in 2006.
Taiwan is a member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Taiwan is also an observer at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Taiwan's top five trade partners in 2010 are China, Japan, USA, the European Union, and Hong Kong.
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