U.S. Companies in Taiwan

Taiwan has become a major center for global innovation.  To date 30 multinational companies including HP, Dell, IBM, Intel, Corning, DuPont, Microsoft and 80 plus companies have already established 105 R&D centers in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s high-tech and IT sectors effectively integrate R&D operations and supply chains stretching from Silicon Valley, through Hsinchu Science Park, and now into Mainland China. Home to more than half of the top 100 IT companies in Asia, Taiwan has become the global supply base for high-tech products, with the highest industrial cluster density in the world. Furthermore, Taiwan’s unique culture, economy and geographical location make it well suited to serve as a springboard for U.S. expansion in the Asia-Pacific region. Through Taiwan firms’ extensive network of investment and business ties in Southeast Asia and China, these companies play an important role in the global supply chain.

Examples of major U.S. investment in Taiwan:

  • Corning - Since 1971, when it first formed joint venture Pacific Glass, Corning has invested heavily in Taiwan. It has provided Taiwan with applied material technologies in optics, special semi-conductors, and optical communications.  In 2006 Corning opened its $1.5 billion glass substrate plant, the most advanced of its kind, and Corning’s largest capital investment in the world. Both of Corning’s manufacturing facilities are located in Taiwan’s Science-Based Industrial Parks, where they enjoy preferential tax, investment and R&D policies.
  • Microsoft - Microsoft has established a Microsoft Technology Center (MTC), RFID Excellence Center, and Windows Media Engineering Center in Taiwan in the span of a few short years.
  • IBM - IBM has been present in Taiwan since 1956, when it established a subsidiary in Taipei. Since then, IBM Taiwan has established a Bioinformatics R&D Center and an x86 server development center, both the first of their kind in IBM’s Asia Pacific region.
  • DuPont - DuPont Taiwan was formed in 1968 and has grown from a single marketing office to 3 manufacturing plants, 5 JVs, and 5 major enterprise groups. In its 30+ years in Taiwan, DuPont has invested more than $1 billion, making it the largest foreign investor in the island.
  • 3M - 3M first established a foothold in Taiwan in 1969 and started out by selling industrial products, half a century later, 3M Taiwan has seven major business units focusing on regional industrial developments and has established a strategic customer base in the Greater China area.

Opportunities across Multiple Sectors

  • Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): Taiwan’s focus on “knowledge-intensive industries” has made it a global leader in promoting and protecting innovation. It is the third most entrepreneurial society according to the Swiss IMD Business School and ranks at the top of global indices for innovation and R&D expenditure. At the same time, Taiwan has actively taken measures to protect and encourage innovation by strengthening IP laws, assigning an IP Protection Police Squad, and dedicating a functioning IP court in July 2008.
  • Government Procurement: Taiwan has been party to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) since December 2008. This has opened government procurement to international bidding by firms from other GPA members, including the United States, and covers over 30 ministries and commissions, in addition to Taipei City and Kaohsiung City governments, and numerous schools, universities, hospitals, and state-owned enterprises.
  • Information Technology (IT): Taiwan is on the leading edge of IT development and commercialization across industries. Today Taiwan is helping generate billions of dollars in investment in cloud computing services, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to construct wireless, smart grid, and other green technologies, and continuing to lead the way on hi-tech innovation and manufacturing.
  • Agriculture: Taiwan is the United States’ sixth largest export market for agricultural products, especially wheat, corn, soybeans, and meat. These agricultural exports, which amount to $3.0 billion annually, comprise 30% of Taiwan’s agricultural import demand and make Taiwan the world’s largest per capita importer of American farm products.

Investment in Numbers

  • $23.7 billion: U.S. accumulative investment in Taiwan as of September 2016
  • $14.45 billion: Taiwan accumulative direct investment in the U.S. as of September 2016
  • 2nd: U.S. ranking as a foreign investor in Taiwan as of September 2016.

Top Sectors for U.S. Investment in Taiwan in 2015

  • Wholesale and Retail Trade($56 million)
  • Manufacturing ($32 million)
  • Financial and Insurance ($20 million)