- 23.4 million
- $929.5 billion 2.1% growth 3.3% 5-year compound annual growth $39,767 per capita
- $3.7 billion
Taiwan’s economic freedom score is 75.1, making its economy the 14th freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is up by 1.2 points from last year, with improvements in seven of the 10 economic freedoms led by investment freedom, the control of government spending, and labor freedom. Taiwan is ranked 5th out of 42 economies in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is well above the world average.
Prudent macroeconomic policy within a stable legal and monetary environment has been the key to rising levels of economic freedom over the past five years. Commitment to structural reforms and openness to global commerce have enabled Taiwan to advance far into the “mostly free” category. Recording uninterrupted years of growth in economic
freedom since 2009, Taiwan has achieved its highest score ever in the 2015 Index.
Taiwan’s export-driven, dynamic economy benefits from a well-functioning legal framework and a tradition of private-sector entrepreneurship. The efficient business environment is facilitated by a competitively low corporate tax rate and the elimination of minimum capital requirements for incorporating a company. Despite progress, however, a relatively high level of perceived corruption and a rigid labor market still restrain Taiwan’s overall economic freedom.
Taiwan is a dynamic multi-party democracy, and its economy is one of the richest in Asia. President Ma Ying-jeou, re-elected in 2012 on a platform that promised economic revitalization, has relaxed cross-Strait barriers with the People’s Republic of China and negotiated a multi-stage formal economic agreement with Beijing. Taiwan is excluded from membership in the United Nations, other international organizations, and a variety of free trade arrangements as part of Beijing’s efforts to pressure it into unification. Although internal opposition to engaging with China is considerable because of fears that sovereignty will be lost, recent economic arrangements bind the island much closer to the PRC. The government’s possible ratification of a Trade in Services Agreement with China is controversial.