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Supply Chain Management

June 2010 - Posts

  • Taiwan: a Rising Asian Tiger in Global Trade

    Situated off the coast of mainland China, this tiny island formerly known as Formosa (which means "beautiful island") has endured quite a history in terms of economic growth. Once an acquisition of Japan, Taiwan is property of the Republic of China yet enjoys a booming and influential capitalist economy that had grown annually since its post-World War II transformation into one of the four "Asian Tigers" of global trade. If you own a laptop computer, a smartphone, or a high-end racing bicycle, chances are high that you own a Taiwanese export.


    Taiwan 101

    Taiwanese Trade Continues to Rise

    According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Taiwan's total trade value in April, 2010 rose fifty percent from last year's amount, to $41 billion. Presently it ranks twenty-eighth among 125 countries in the 2010 Global Enabling Trade Report, still an impressive number given the area's shift from dependence on trade with the United State to diversifying connections with Europe. As the world's largest supplier of computer chip, computer memory, and LCD panel manufacturing services, Taiwan enjoys an important role in new innovations in technology. Top exports to the United States from the area include:


    Semiconductors: Where the US has Silicone Valley, Taiwan is literally a silicone island as a major provider of these important devices


    Televisions: As more people trade up to plasma and flatscreen TVs, you'll find Taiwan is a leader in providing the latest models.


    Automotive Parts: While Germany and Japan lead exports of new models, you'll find the parts that make run originate here.


    Advanced Manufactured Iron and Steel: A top provider of durable construction materials, this island trades quality raw resources.


    Blank Media: Yes, there is still a need for blank audio and videotape, and recordable CD-ROM discs. Taiwan meets the demand.


    As a progressively advanced territory, the economic growth leaves no room for natural resources. Agriculture comprises a low three percent of Taiwan's overall economy, and as a result the area imports a high volume of vegetables and foodstuffs and natural fuels like coal. Plastic materials for manufacturing, civilian aircraft for improved travel, and organic chemicals round out the island's most imported goods.


    Forecasts for Taiwan through the remainder of year, according to economic experts, predict continued growth as trade with Europe and the US strengthens. The health of the electronics industry in particular will play a role in the area's future, yet as demand for new technologies remain it is likely Taiwan will emerge in Asia as a powerful force in the export market.


    Photo by G. Williams