General Information

Taiwan is a small island nation 180km east of China with modern cities, traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts and dramatic mountainous terrain. Taipei, the country’s capital in the north, is known for its busy night markets, Chinese Imperial art at the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101, a 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped skyscraper with an observation deck.

Population

The population in Taiwan is approximately 23.4 million, spread across a total land area of about 36,000 km2; it is the seventeenth most densely populated country in the world with a population density of about 650 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Political Structure

Taiwan’s government is a multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly-elected president and unicameral legislature.

Taiwan’s power is distributed among five large branches of government called Yuan: the Legislative Yuan (National Assembly), Executive Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan, and Control Yuan. The Examination Yuan oversees Taiwan’s difficult system of exams, controlling access to education, jobs, business licenses, the civil service and so on. The Control Yuan is a watchdog agency that tries to keep things honest.

The president is directly elected. The president appoints the premier, who wields considerable power because they appoint the heads of Taiwan’s many ministries that oversee the large bureaucracy.

Infrastructure and Economy

The emergence of Taiwan’s SMEs is closely related to the economic, social and educational policies adopted by the government in the past. The “Land to the Tiller” program and the Economic Construction Plan, the implementation of which began in 1953, the beginning of compulsory education in 1968, and the Ten Major Construction Projects plan, which began to be implemented in 1973, along with other measures adopted in the areas of economic development, manpower resources, social stability and public construction, have all provided SMEs with an excellent environment in which to grow and develop. In particular, following the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, Taiwan’s SMEs won international acclaim for the way in which they stood up to the impact of the crisis. As Taiwan’s economy has developed, so have Taiwan’s SMEs. Over time, they have become a model for SMEs in other countries to follow. The development of Taiwan’s SMEs over the past fifty years or so can be divided into 7 distinct periods.

Language

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of the country. Mandarin spoken in Taiwan assumes two forms the Standard Mandarin and the Taiwanese Mandarin (Hokkien).

Currency

The New Taiwan dollar is the official currency of Taiwan.