Nestled in East Asia, Taiwan boasts a dynamic economic landscape characterized by innovation and technological prowess. Renowned as a global leader in various sectors, the island nation has strategically cultivated major industries such as semiconductors, telecommunications, finance, and smart agriculture. With a commitment to fostering innovation, economic resilience, and establishing global partnerships, Taiwan’s influence continues to shape the evolving landscape of key industries, positioning it as a key player in the global economic arena.
Top 5 Industries in Taiwan
The electronics sector in Taiwan has witnessed remarkable growth, fueled by increased global exports to China and Hong Kong. Notably, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, led by companies like the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), holds a substantial share, contributing about 50% to the global chipmaking market. Over the past year, semiconductor production in Taiwan surged by 6.8%, driven by heightened demand for electronics and technology, especially with the evolving work culture. Taiwan has emerged as a hub for cutting-edge chip production, catering to the needs of automobiles, 5G technology, and smart devices. Amid the ongoing trade tensions between China and the U.S., Taiwan has positioned itself as the primary digital producer in the region. An internship within a leading semiconductor company in Taiwan provides invaluable experience and exposure to the intricacies of the industry.
The petrochemical sector holds a significant role in Taiwan, spearheaded by Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPCC) and Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC). FPCC, the second-largest petrochemical company and the first privately-owned refinery in Taiwan engages in the production of refined oil products and petrochemicals, while also venturing into electricity and steam sales.
CPC, the leading industry player in oil production, serves as the primary supplier of refined oil and oil products in Taiwan. Given the nation’s limited fossil fuel resources, CPC adopts a two-pronged approach for energy resource acquisition — upstream and downstream operations. Upstream operations involve expanding overseas production to stabilize domestic crude oil and natural gas supply, aiming to progressively increase self-owned and ultimately, self-controlled energy reserves.
The telecommunications sector in Taiwan remains a crucial economic infrastructure, experiencing increased demand in recent years. Amid global economic challenges during the pandemic, Taiwan has notably achieved fiscal stability, with its telecommunications market demonstrating resilience and consistent progress.
In contemporary telecommunications, the focus extends beyond mere connectivity, encompassing a diverse array of consumer applications, including extensive video services and 5G solutions tailored for both enterprises and government clients.
Key players in Taiwan’s telecommunications landscape include Far EasTone, Chunghwa Telecom, and Taiwan Mobile — collectively known as the “big three.” These operators have been at the forefront of developing a robust 5G ecosystem, positioning Taiwan as a leader in the digital economy. The telecommunications market in the country has witnessed continuous growth and prosperity over the years.
In recent years, Taiwan’s financial system, particularly its banking sector, has undergone significant improvements. The primary roles of banks in the country encompass managing monetary policy, overseeing payment systems, and currency issuance, acting as a fiscal agent for the government, and handling foreign exchange. With Taiwan’s GDP forecast at approximately 3.7% this year, the central bank’s monetary policy is committed to supporting the nation’s funding and liquidity. Despite a moderately competitive banking system this year, government backing remains robust due to fiscal strength.
Leading banks in Taiwan include CTBC Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, Bank of Taiwan, and Deutsche Bank. Interning in one of these banks provides valuable insights into the financial landscape and the role of technology in shaping finance and banking practices in the country.
Taiwan has gained global recognition for its strides in agriculture, a sector that significantly influences its technological advancements despite the predominance of the semiconductor and information technology industries in its economy. The introduction of the Agriculture 4.0 Movement, or Smart Agriculture, demonstrates the country’s commitment to leveraging information and communication technology for efficient farming solutions. Technologies such as drones, robots, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are integral to this approach, aiming to enhance yield, minimize crop damage and operational costs, and reduce resource usage. While implementation challenges persist, the shift to smart farming has fostered innovation, with startups emerging and Taiwan collaborating with countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India to share agricultural technology for increased production.