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General Section

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Important Contacts

General Details

Chief of the state Mr. Chen Shui-bian
Prime Minister Mr. Chang Chun-hsiung
Capital Taipei
Area total: 35,980 sq km
land: 32,260 sq km
water: 3,720 sq km
Location Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China
Coastline: 1,448 km
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate Tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Natural Resources Small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Natural hazards Earthquakes and typhoons
Environment-international agreements party to: none of the selected agreements
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Population 22,113,250 (Approx.)
Age structure 0-14 years: 22% (male 2,515,398; female 2,338,506)
15-64 years: 70% (male 7,825,953; female 7,574,836)
65 years and over: 8% (male 989,040; female 869,517) (Approx.)
Population growth rate 0.93% (Approx7.)
Birth rate 14.63 births/1,000 population (Approx.)
Death rate 5.32 deaths/1,000 population (Approx.)
Net migration rate 0.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (Approx.)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.14 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (Approx.)
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.49 years
male: 74.38 years
female: 80.85 years (Approx.)
Religions Mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Legislative Body Unicameral Legislative Yuan
Languages Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects         
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94% (Approx.)
male: 93% (Approx.) female: 79% (1980 est.)
Currency 1 New Taiwan dollar (NT$) = 100 cents
Legal System Based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Economy Overview Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities and partial government ownership of some large banks and industrial firms. Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8.5% a year during the past three decades. Export growth has been even faster and has provided the impetus for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are low, and foreign reserves are the world's third largest. Agriculture contributes less than 3% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved off-shore and replaced with more capital- and technology-intensive industries. Taiwan has become a major investor in China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The tightening of labor markets has led to an influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from "the Asian flu" in 1998.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $362 billion (Approx.)
GDP - real growth rate &4.8% (1998 est.)
GDP - per capita $16,500 (1998 est.)
GDP - Composition by sector agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 35.3%
services: 62% (Approx.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.1% (1998)
Industries Electronics, textiles, chemicals, clothing, food processing, plywood, sugar milling, cement, shipbuilding, petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate 7% (1997)
Agriculture- products Rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Exports $122.1 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports-commodities Machinery and electrical equipment 21.7%, electronic products 14.8%, information/communications 11.8%, textile products 11.6% (1997)
Exports-partners US 24.2%, Hong Kong 23.5%, Europe 15.1%, Japan 9.6% (1997)
Imports $114.4 billion (c.i.f., 1997)
Imports-commodities Machinery and electrical equipment 16.5%, electronic products 16.3%, chemicals 10.0%, precision instrument 5.6% (1997)
Imports-partners Japan 25.4%, US 20.3%, Europe 18.9%, Hong Kong 1.7% (1997)
Telephones 11.526 million (1998 est.)
Telephone system domestic: extensive microwave radio relay trunk system on east and west coasts international: satellite earth stations-2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe
Railways total: 4,600 km (519 km electrified); note-1,108 km belongs to the Taiwan Railway Administration and the remaining 3,492 km is dedicated to industrial use
narrow gauge: 4,600 km 1.067-m
Highways total: 19,634 km
paved: 17,171 km (including 548 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,463 km (Approx.)
Pipelines Petroleum products 615 km; natural gas 97 km
Ports and harbors Chi-lung (Keelung), Hua-lien, Kao-hsiung, Su-ao, T'ai-chung
Taxes Taxes
International Membership APEC, AsDB, BCIE, ICC, IOC, WCL, WTrO        


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