Q3 2018 ECONOMIC REPORT
TAIWAN ECONOMY: 2018 Q3 UPDATE
Taiwan’s GDP grew by 2.27% year-on-year (yoy) in Q3, driven by internal demand, with significant capital growth. Taiwan’s Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) decreased its economic growth forecast for 2018 to 2.41%, due to slow global growth, geopolitical uncertainty, and unstable financial markets.
The US-China trade dispute is yet to have significant impact on Taiwan’s overall economic performance. However, Taiwan remains vulnerable as 40% of its exports go to China and it has high exposure to global supply chains.
Taiwan held three energy-related referendums on 24 November, alongside mid-term elections and seven other referendums on other issues. The referendums – two on reducing coal usage and the other on abolishing the 2025 deadline to phase out nuclear energy – all received enough support to pass. The Ministry of Economic Affairs in charge of energy policy said it would publish a revised energy plan within two months. Separately, MOEA published proposals for 2019 Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) rates for renewable energy, with a decrease of more than 10% from 2018 in both solar and offshore wind sectors.
The UK and Taiwan held the 21st UK-Taiwan Trade Talks on 25 September 2018, with fruitful discussions on market access, trade policies, financial services, investment and technology. Ahead of the talks, Taiwan granted market access for UK pork, with exports worth at least £50m in the next 5 years.
The WTO published its 4th Trade Policy Review on Taiwan in September, which recognised Taiwan’s transparent and predictable trade policies, while recommending improvements to the legal environment for foreign investment. At the review launched, Taiwan announced it would change its status from a developing member to a developed member. Separately, Taiwan received a two-week inspection from the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering in November.