Taiwan is one of Asia’s so-called ‘Tiger Economies’ alongside Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. The Taiwanese economy developed as its rapid industrialisation and privatisation proved a significant encouragement for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), supported by government incentives. Since the 1980s, Taiwan has focused on developing knowledge-based industries away from the traditional areas of agriculture and textiles.
The move into producing radios, TVs, electronic equipment, ‘motherboards’ and computers was the precursor to becoming the
world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of semiconductors and the fourth-largest globally for electronic equipment. In 2020, Taiwan was unique among the ‘tigers’ to be the only one of the four to grow Gross Domestic Product positively. The World Bank rates Taiwan as a highly developed market economy, in the top 10 among Asian nations for GDP and the top 20 globally for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).