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Taipeieco.it - The Economic Division of Taipei Representative Office in Italy


Invest in Taiwan



1. Abundant Capital Funds
As of 31 January 2019, Taiwan has more than USD 463.043 billion of foreign exchange reserves. Taiwan's holding of foreign financial assets had reached USD 697.89 billion (2017). Its banking system has deposit of USD 1,117.899 USD bn (June 2018). Furthermore, compared to the neighboring countries, Taiwan's securities and stock exchange market is mature and active. Taiwan’s banking sector is healthy, tightly regulated, and competitive, with 39 banks servicing the market. The sector’s non-performing loan ratio has remained below 1% since 2010, with a sector average of 0.28 in December 2017.

2. Low Taxation Investment Environment

Taiwan provides an investment environment of low taxation. Beginning from 2010, the tax rate for profit-seeking enterprise income tax was reduced to 17% from 25%. Taiwan also becomes the lowest tax rate country in Asia like Hong Kong.

3. Complete Infrastructure, Convenient Transportation Network

Taiwan has 18 airports, including Taipei, Taoyuan and Kaoshiung international airports. Surrounded by the sea, Taiwan has many harbors, including 5 international hatbors. The domestic transportation network is complete: there are high speed railway, throughout-the-island railways, two high ways, and Taipei and Kaoshiung MRT networks.

Taiwan possesses an advanced fixed broadband market, with services accessible through a variety of technology platforms including DSL, fibre, Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC), leased lines and wireless. Fibre is the most popular platform and has underpinned Taiwan’s relatively high standing in global broadband rankings. Taiwan ranks between the top 20 in the Internet connection speed worldwide.


4. Superior Innovation Capability

Taiwan is an innovation oriented economy. The global competitiveness rankings published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2017 placed Taiwan 15th out of 140 countries. Of special note, Taiwan ranked 11th in the world in terms of innovation competitiveness, emphasizing how the country's soft power in innovation and invention has become the driving force behind its economic development.

Taiwan has a 98.5% literacy rate, the fourth highest standardized math test scores in the world (according to the Organization for Economic Development) and over 25% of all university degrees are in engineering. Seventy percent of the world’s integrated circuits are manufactured in Taiwan, and Taiwanese companies have for years excelled at mobile phone, computer hardware, and electronics engineering. Moreover, Taiwan's performance were outstanding in the world's invention award competitions: gaining 60 awards it scored the highest percentage of wins at the 2016 "International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva". Taiwan was the biggest overall medal winner in the 2017 Seoul International Invention Fair.

As a result, many leading international corporations including Intel, HP, Dell, Sony, Microsoft, IBM, Linde and Ericsson have established their R&D centers in Taiwan over the years. This proves Taiwan to be an ideal location for multinational corporations to establish their R&D bases for innovative R&D activities.

5. Comprehensive Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

Taiwan attaches great importance to the protection of IP. Taiwanese government has assigned an IP Protection Police Squad in charge of the law enforcement. An IP court has also started functioning since July, 2008. With these judicial efforts, IP trials were carried out more professionally in Taiwan.

Taiwan at a glance


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018






23,555,522 23,580,080

Industrial production, annual change





3.76% -1,22% (Dec.)

Labour force





11,795,000 11,916,000 (unemploym. rate 3.66%)

Patent applied







Patent granted






Economic growth rate







GDP (US$ million)







GDP per capita (US$)









What Taiwan has Achieved

1.  Strong Economic Performance

As of 2017, Taiwan has int$49,827 per capita GDP (PPP). According to the report of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Taiwan ranks 19th in the world economy (list of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita, 2017) gaining 3 positions from last year. The amount of foreign trade reached €576.5 billion, which ranks Taiwan as 18th in the world.

Taiwan’s economy performed reasonably well in 2018 with GDP growth similar to regional neighbors, strong exports for most of the year, increased investment, and unemployment less than 4 percent. In 2019, Taiwan’s economy is expected to grow by around 2.18 to 2.45 percent, depending on source of analysis.

2.  Supply center for High-Technology Products

With strong high–tech products manufacturing capabilities, Taiwan companies have been the important partners of global brand names, such as Nike, Apple, HP, etc. . In addition, more than 20 Taiwan high-tech products rank top three in the world, including LCD, Navigator, Motherboard/PC, DRAM, and Golf head etc. The following well known brands are in fact from Taiwan: ACER (notebook), ASUS (notebook), HTC (mobile phone), GIANT (bicycle), Garmin (navigator).


Opportunities for Italian Business

Excellent venue for investment.

In 2018 Taiwan approved 3,621 direct investment projects with a total amount of US$11,440,234,000 (increase of 52.27% in FDI amount). In 2017 the approved total amount was USD 7.5 billion. Due to the excellent investment environment, from 1952 until 2015 Taiwan has attracted more than €34 billion investment from European countries, accounting for 24.9 % of all foreign accumulated investment into Taiwan. The EU maintains its position as the largest investor in Taiwan. EU’s FDI accounts for close to 28% of all foreign investment in the island. At the same time, Taiwanese investment in the EU remains at a very low level (stock of €1bn). The EU as a whole only accounts for 2.4% of the stock of Taiwanese FDI.

Taiwan is investing €78 billion from 2008 to 2016 for its 12 priority public constructions. Taiwan is also putting lot of resources to develop six emerging industries (Biotechnology; Medical and Health Care; Culture and Creation; Tourism; Green Energy; High-end Agriculture). In short, Taiwan represents a good investment opportunity for Italian business.   


Close Economic Relationship between China and Taiwan

Since May 2008, the economic relations between China and Taiwan are getting very close.  For instance, there are over 83 harbors for direct navigation, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Ningbo and Qingdao, five of top ten busiest ports in the world. Meanwhile, there are 828 direct flights between Taiwan and China every week.  Furthermore, with the signing of ECFA (a kind of FTA) between China and Taiwan, Taiwan can enjoy immediately zero or lower-duty exportation of goods and better market access on service sectors in China.

Taiwan has irreplaceable links with China. In 2018 inward investments from Mainland China were 141 cases with an amount of US$231,242,000. As for Taiwan's outward investment to Mainland China, 726 applications have been approved in 2018 and the approved investment amount was US$8,497,730,000. Taiwanese speak the same language, share similar cultures with Chinese. If Italian businessmen could cooperate with Taiwanese partners to take Taiwan’s ECFA niches on tariff elimination/reduction and greater market entry on service sectors to explore China’s market, we believe it would be a win-win situation for both of our businesses.




At present time there is no official reciprocity agreement between Taiwan and Italy. Both countries recognize the principle that states that favours, benefits, or penalties that are granted by one state to the citizens or legal entities of another, should be returned in kind.

Reciprocity has been confirmed in matters of  holding shares of a company, acquiring the membership of a corporate executive board,  establishing a branch office, a proprietary business or a partnership (from Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).


From Taiwan Investment Commission, MOEA:

  1. Statute For Investment By Foreign Nationals, download
  1. Negative List for Investment by Overseas Chinese and Foreign Nationals (revised on June, 2013), download

Double Taxation Agreement.

The agreement to avoid double taxation between Italy and Taiwan took effect on Jan. 1 2016. Italy became the 14th country in Europe to complete a double taxation avoidance agreement with Taiwan.

Due to the increase in bilateral trade between Taiwan and Italy in recent years, small and medium-sized businesses on both sides are eager to see the passage of legislation on the avoidance of double taxation. The legislation is expected to inject new impetus into Taiwan-Italy economic relations.
The Decree, which follows the patterns accepted internationally by the OECD, aims to eliminate the phenomenon of double taxation and to ensure more effective enforcement of tax evasion. The rules apply to individuals and businesses residing in Italian and Taiwan territories.



Since 2009 Taiwan joined WTO GPA (government procurement agreement). Public procurement in Taiwan is open to foreign companies.




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Department of Investment Service. Financial assistance and incentive, https://investtaiwan.nat.gov.tw/homePage 
Ministry of Finance, Taxation, www.dot.gov.tw/en/  
Laws and Regulations Database, http://law.moj.gov.tw/eng/


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