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    Taiwan Economy 2000

      Economy - overview: Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have grown even faster and have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are low; the trade surplus is substantial; and foreign reserves are the world's third largest. Agriculture contributes 3% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved off-shore and 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. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the Asian financial crisis in 1998-99. Growth in 2000 should pick up a bit from 1999, backed by expansion in domestic consumption, exports, and private investment.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $357 billion (1999 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (1999 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $16,100 (1999 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 3%
      industry: 33%
      services: 64% (1999 est.)

      Population below poverty line: 1% (1999 est.)

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (1999 est.)

      Labor force: 9.7 million (1999 est.)

      Labor force - by occupation: services 55%, industry 37%, agriculture 8% (1999 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 2.9% (1999 est.)

      Budget:
      revenues: $36.82 billion
      expenditures: $40.53 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

      Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing

      Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (1999 est.)

      Electricity - production: 133.586 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 65.91%
      hydro: 7.84%
      nuclear: 26.25%
      other: 0% (1998)

      Electricity - consumption: 124.235 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Agriculture - products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish

      Exports: $121.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

      Exports - commodities: electronics, electric and machinery equipment 52%, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals

      Exports - partners: US 26%, Hong Kong 21%, Europe 18%, Japan 10%, Singapore 3% (1999)

      Imports: $101.7 billion (c.i.f., 1999)

      Imports - commodities: electronics, electric and machinery equipment 45%, minerals, precision instruments

      Imports - partners: Japan 27%, US 18%, Europe 16%, South Korea 6%, Malaysia 4% (1999)

      Debt - external: $35 billion (September 1999)

      Economic aid - recipient: $NA

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

      Exchange rates: New Taiwan dollars per US$1 - 31.395 (yearend 1999), 32.216 (1998), 32.052 (1997), 27.5 (1996), 27.5 (1995)

      Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June (up to FY98/99); 1 July 1999 - 31 December 2000 for FY00; calendar year (after FY00)

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)


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