Sigur Center Asia Report, Issue 1: Taiwan as an International Economic Actor: Drivers, Partners, and Prospects Open Access

Taiwan, though politically limited in the international arena, is an important actor in the world economy. In 2006 Taiwan was the 16th largest exporter and importer in the World Trade Organization. Its role in manufacturing semiconductors and other critical high tech products gives Taiwan leverage over the global supply chain. Due to its favorable balance of trade and high savings rate, Taiwan has become an important donor of international aid and a powerful investor. As it moved up the global supply chain from labor intensive to capital intensive industries, it has sought comparative advantages and used investment abroad to relocate labor intensive elements of production. This process has led Taiwan to become China’s largest source of foreign direct investment. All three speakers at this Sigur Center Roundtable held on October 22, 2008 were in agreement on these major issues, but elaborated on different points.

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