Asia, today’s place to invest

The economic turmoil in Europe and the slow recovery of the US economy create unstable environments for any kind of investments or the developing of new markets in the western hemisphere. In the meantime, Asian companies and economies are narrowing the gap. Here are 10 great reasons to invest in Taiwan:

East Asian countries, with developed economies, and a good soil for growth, provide big relief for investors as they see in Asia a dynamic place to invest their assets. Taiwan belongs to the first wave of Asia’s amazing awakening.

Ten reasons to invest in Taiwan:

1. Reputation of Taiwan

The quick industrialization and rapid growth of Taiwan during the end of the 20th century has been called the “Taiwan Miracle”. Taiwan is one of the “Four Asian Dragons” alongside Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.

2. Growth of Taiwan

Although major economies are striving to keep their GDP growth rate positive, it is predicted that Taiwan will see a 3.59% GDP growth rate for 2013, with predictions of GDP growth of around 4.5% for 2014 and 2015. (Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, TIER)

3. Taiwan’s World-class Education

Taiwanese universities are among some of the best in the world, providing a highly skilled workforce. But the general level of education is also among the world’s very best countries. For example, according the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, Taiwan’s average score for mathematics registered by eighth graders was higher than Japan, US and even Finland.

As a disclaimer, it is worth noting that entrepreneurs we have spoken to in Taiwan do not necessarily share the view that Taiwan’s workforce, although highly educated, are among the world’s best. For instance, Revital Golan has stated that fresh graduates in Taiwan “are not mature enough business-wise”. Jake Morrison has stated that it is very difficult to find good software engineers in Taiwan, as well as Laurent Renard, considering in our interview that Taiwan is a hardware environment, therefore it is tougher to find good Taiwanese software developers.

4. Business-friendly Government Policies

Generally speaking, the Taiwanese government has made efforts to provide a business-friendly environment. Regarding foreign investment, there are very few restrictions, and such restrictions are limited to strategic industries such as defense or energy. Through the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, the Institute for Information Industry (III), and the non-profit Industrial Technology and Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan has turned into a SME-friendly environment. The government, to their credit, invests and promotes government grants, some of which are even promoted to foreigners, such as the Taipei Municipal Self-Government Ordinance for Industrial Development Conference workshop organized next May 14th.

5. Taiwan has a great Toolbox

Taiwan has agile and flexible companies, complete infrastructure and sound industrial environment suitable for IT development. Currently, Taiwan has the highest industrial cluster density, with a tremendous hardware environment, powered by one of the hardware’s biggest event worldwide, COMPUTEX, the professional exhibition, gathering this year over 38,000 professionals from 173 countries.

6. Taiwan, a strong domestic market

A 2012 Forbes report citing the latest data released by the International Monetary Fund revealed that Taiwan beats Japan and South Korea in purchasing power. Only Hong-Kong and Singapore hold a higher level of GDP (in Purchase Power Parity) per capita. On that focus, Taiwan is ranked 21st. Furthermore, Taiwan’s population is 3.5 times bigger than Hong-Kong, and 5 times that of Singapore.

7. Taiwan as an economic hub

The culture, language and geographical closeness to the Mainland China market creates opportunities for further expansion and growth. With its democratic environment and the stable rule of law, Taiwan is a perfect base to start a business in Asia, and a door to Mainland China. Moreover, Taiwan in itself is a sufficiently big consumer market.

8. Taiwan’s positive trend in FDI

The Ministry of Economic Affairs revealed that Taiwan’s net balance of trade was over US$ 4bn for Q4 2012, showing that Taiwan’s export are a key sector for the Island’s economy.

9. Taiwan’s culture of innovation

the Taiwanese government has established “The Program of Multinational Innovative R&D Center in Taiwan”, aimed at promoting multinational corporations collaborating with local Taiwanese firms so that Taiwan can establish itself as a regional R&D center within the Asia Pacific region. This in turn will help support multinational production activities, thereby enhancing the role Taiwan plays in global R&D, giving the R&D activity of Taiwanese industry greater depth and encouraging Taiwanese companies to focus on cutting-edge research. The early participants of this program were Intel, HP, Dell, Sony, Microsoft, IBM and Ericsson, which in total have established 51 R&D centers in Taiwan. Among these companies, many found that the industry environment and infrastructure here are much better than what they had expected, and some even expanded the scale of their R&D centers. This proves Taiwan to be an ideal location for multinational corporations to establish their R&D bases for innovative R&D activities. Find here our Chinese list of Incubators affiliated with Taiwanese universities.

10. Taiwan’s Environment

Low utility and living costs, competitive salaries, a safe and sound environment, and a large number of foreigners working and living in Taiwan, are the key environmental factors that make Taiwan such an attractive place to start a business.

With the air quality being as bad as it is in China, putting your Greater China headquarters in Taiwan makes a lot of sense. Employees and their families will thank you.

These are just some of the many reasons why it makes sense to invest in Taiwan.