Infrastructure such as road, rail, harbours and airports are highly developed in Taiwan. Taiwan’s rapid economic development over the past two decades has led to a surge in growth in all sectors of infrastructure. Taiwan’s well-developed infrastructure and its world-class technology sector, combined with an export-driven economy, make it an ideal location for the development of e-business. The National Infrastructure Initiative outlined by the government sets out its e-business policy, which is to shape Taiwan into an e-commerce hub for the region.
The latest strategy announced by Taiwan detailed in the ICT profile Challenge 2008 National Development Plan further details plans making Taiwan a full e-economy. The Challenge 2008 National Development Plan also has the goal of doubling the number of tourists visiting Taiwan over the next five years.
Government expenditure on infrastructure continues to remain a priority with over A$45 billion in major infrastructure projects under consideration:
- post-quake reconstruction
- development of industrial parks
- public infrastructure programs
- environmental preservation
Taiwan’s WTO entry and gradual liberalisation of the infrastructure sector will see more opportunity for Australian companies to enter this market. With some $10 billion in rail projects, including the Taiwan High Speed Rail, the Tainan Light Rail Project and Koashiung MRT Project (both under consideration) there are opportunities for Australian companies in this sector.
In telecommunications (see ICT Profile) changes to foreign investment laws in fixed line, mobile and satellite communications have provided additional opportunities for Australian exporters and the continued development of broad band internet services and the granting of five licences for 3G services have provided opportunities for companies in the provision of data services.
As a small island economy, transport and distribution logistics are generally not a concern to exporters and are usually handled by the local importer or distributor. The distribution networks are efficient and competitive. For exporters, the typical distribution steps from their company to a Taiwanese importer would be:
- International exporter
- International freight forwarder
- Taiwan freight forwarder
- customs broker
- local courier
- Taiwan importer
- road transport from north to south on the island takes approximately five hours
- from Taipei to Taichung by road is two and a half hours, and Taichung to Kaohsiung two and a half hours
- transportation of containers by road is very convenient and efficient and service providers are easy to find
- normally shipping companies or the custom brokers have their contracted local transport company in Taiwan
- generally local couriers do not speak English and contact is best handled through the freight forwarder
The three major ports in Taiwan are Keelung Port which is located in Northern Taiwan. Taichung Port, which is located in Central Taiwan and Kaohsiung Port, in the south. You should choose the port that is closest to the final destination or the goods to be delivered.