hero Taiwan


Taiwan’s true colours as a trading destination of global choice have long been recognised, but never more so than during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only did the territory’s government confidently and competently handle the social and health side of the problem, but the economy thrived throughout.

Please note that due to Covid-19,
some circumstances in this country may be inaccurate.

Welcome to Taiwan

Having made numerous powerful strategic moves over the last few decades, Taiwan now finds itself in the enviable position of being one of the world’s examples of best-practice economic management. Its absolute openness to trade, and particularly to foreign direct investment, as well as its own investments in transport and digital infrastructure, mean its future will be bright.

HSBC has had a strong presence in Taiwan since 2009. Our dedicated team of professionals is well equipped to support your trading needs in this market and via 30 outlets, with branches in all major Taiwanese cities. Our offerings include Credit and Lending, Global Trade and Receivable Finance, Global Payments Solutions, Global Markets, and Investment.

I look forward to offering my personal service as we discuss how we can support your business growth in Taiwan.

adam chen
Adam Chen President and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Taiwan

54F, No. 7, Sec. 5,
Xinyi Road,
Xinyi Dist.,
Taipei 101 Building,
Taipei City,


map of Taiwan
36,197 square km
(13,976 squared miles)
Main languages
Mandarin Chinese
Commercial capital city
Taipei City
Other major cities
New Taipei City, Kaohsiung City, Taichung City
New Taiwan Dollar (TWD) (NTD)
Dialling code
USD34,880 per capita2
Top exports
Electrical machinery, machinery including computers, plastics, optical, technical and medical apparatus3
Top imports
Refined petroleum, petroleum gas, crude petroleum, coal briquettes, refined copper3
Unemployment rate
Corporation tax
Typical office hours
Businesses 9am – 5.30pm;
Banks 9am – 3.30pm
Time zone
GMT + 8hours
Emergency numbers
110 (police), 119 (ambulance and fire)

1 Britannica, 2022
2 Taiwanese Government, 2022
3 World’s Top Exports, 2022
4 Statista, 2022
5 PwC, 2022

Taiwan: Small size, big player

  • Island State

    Taiwan is an island located off the southeastern coast of the Asian continent. With a total land area of around 36,000 square kilometers it is about one-seventh the size of the UK.

  • Political change

    Following reforms in the late 1980s, Taiwan has been a multi-party, democratic territory. The president is elected by voters for a four-year term. The current president is Tsai Ing-wen, the first female leader of Taiwan. The Democratic Progressive Party has held power since 2016.

  • Urban population

    Most of Taiwan’s 23.85 million people live in urban areas with the Han Chinese making up 98% of the total. It is estimated the population will peak at 24.01 million in 2029.

  • Eye of the tiger

    Due to its rapid economic growth between 1965 and 1989, Taiwan is considered one of Asia’s ‘tiger economies.’ The business-friendly and investment-friendly environment encouraged by the government is a major factor in the economy’s exponential growth.


# 15

for ease of doing business (in a survey of 190 measured economies by The World Bank)

Territory profile

Small but mighty, Taiwan is an economic powerhouse.

Located off the southeast coast of mainland China, Taiwan consists of a main island and several smaller islands that lie to the west and south of the main island. Often described as ‘leaf-shaped’, Taiwan has approximately the same land area as the Netherlands or the American state of Massachusetts.

The state has experienced rapid economic growth since the mid-1960s. Between 1965 and 1989, the nation’s GNP grew by 360%. While the government promoted a business-friendly environment, the territory also latched onto the latest technology from other regions to boost its development. Very quickly, companies from mainland China were moving their base to Taiwan due to the mix of high-tech and inexpensive labour costs.

Taiwan’s official language is Mandarin Chinese.

Since the nation was democratised over 30 years ago, the economy has continued its steady growth. While the economies of its neighbours Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong fell by 5% in 2020, Taiwan’s grew by 3%. This was due mainly to the territory’s excellent public health infrastructure and policy, sophisticated use of data and digital technology and employing the lessons learnt from the SARS pandemic in 2003 in their efforts to halt the spread of the disease.

5 reasons to do business in Taiwan

  1. Government incentives and favourable policies
    As opposed to other Asian nations, foreigners are permitted to establish an LCC in Taiwan and own 100% of the company. There is no minimal capital investment to start a business.
  2. Semiconductor growth
    As the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, Taiwan is the preferred computer chip producer for Apple Inc. Growth in this sector is anticipated to be enormous.
  3. Talent show
    Taiwan is in possession of a highly educated and skilled work force. Boasting a 98.5% literacy rate, the territory is home to 126 universities with 25% of graduates earning engineering degrees. It is President Tsai Ing-wen’s hope that Taiwan will be a bilingual territory by 2030 to satisfy economic goals.
  4. Healthy start-up environment
    With ambitions of becoming ‘Asia’s Silicon Valley’, the Taiwanese government has allocated USD3.3 million1 in funding new start-ups. Also, incentives such as the Entrepreneur Visa and Employment Gold Card mean the immigration process is accelerated for businesspeople.
  5. Global outlook
    The nation has an international focus with key trading partners around the world. The nation’s top trade partners are mainland China, Japan, United States, the EU and Hong Kong. Taiwan is the perfect hub for companies planning to do business in this region.

5 key challenges when doing business in Taiwan

  1. 1

    Lost in translation

    Taiwanese business documents are written in Chinese. This can pose problems for foreign investors. When registering a business in Taiwan, the wait times and the translation of documents can be long and costly.

  2. 2

    Open to the world

    Although Taiwan’s global outlook means trading across borders has become more efficient, faster and simpler, there are numerous documents to complete when a company is trading across borders, which can be time consuming.

  3. 3

    The barrier of bureaucracy

    Government tends to play a significant role in the operation of business in Taiwan. In doing so, new barriers and hurdles can sometimes be created.

  4. 4

    Who’s the boss?

    Taiwanese companies are hierarchical and the managers tend to take a top-down approach. This can be a different way of doing business for some foreigners.

  5. 5

    IP protections

    While Taiwan has done a lot in recent years to bolster protections for IP such as trade secrets, challenges remain in combatting copyright and related infringements, both online and in print.