Taiwan’s economy grew 2.03% year on year in Q3 2016, compared with 1.13% growth in Q2, as domestic consumption firmed and global demand for the island’s electronics exports rebounded. It marked a further strengthening of Taiwan’s economy after a prolonged period of weakness in 2015-16.

With growth momentum continuing in Q4 2016, the Taiwan government’s statistics agency raised its 2016 full-year economic growth forecast to 1.35% in November, up 0.13% from its prediction in August. At the same time, it forecast modest annual growth of 1.87% for 2017.

Taiwan’s structural reforms center around the “five-plus-two” innovative industry initiative to transform its economic and industrial structure; and the New Southbound Policy targeting deeper links with Southeast Asia, including healthcare and medical cooperation. The “five-plus-two” industries include biomedical, defense, green energy technology, smart machinery and the development of an Asian Silicon Valley (focusing on the Internet of Things and smart device-related businesses), plus the development of a new agricultural paradigm and a circular economy.

To facilitate development of Taiwan’s biomedical industry, the government launched a “biomedical industrial innovation promotion program” in November to raise the output value and competitive capabilities of the biotechnology sector and position Taiwan as a hub for biomedical R&D in Asia. The goal is to achieve breakthrough growth in the output value of pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, and the health and wellness industry, driving annual growth rates from 6% to 9% by 2025 and developing this strategic sector into a NT trillion-dollar (US$31.3 billion) industry. Key program undertakings include revising legislation to relax investment and talent recruitment regulations, providing fresh tax breaks and giving incentives to biotechnology companies; and easing restrictions on the development and production of new drugs and high-risk medical devices, among other proposals.

Further key objectives include the establishment of a north-south biomedical corridor linking Taiwan’s three main science parks in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan to maximise their research capabilities. The government is also looking to tap into the international healthcare market, especially in Southeast Asia, as well as develop precision medicine services, specialised clinics and health-related peripheral industries.



Views from the region - TW - Q1 2017

Views from the region - TW - Q3 2016

Views from the region - TW - Q2 2016