The International Monetary Fund released its 2012 economic report in April 18 forecasts Taiwan's gross domestic product will expand 3.6 percent this year and 4.7 percent in 2013. South Korea is expected to grow 3.5 percent in 2012 and 4.0 percent in 2013. Hong Kong is forecast to expand by 2.6 percent for 2012 and 4.2 percent next year, while Singapore is projected to see a 2.7 percent growth this year and a 3.9 percent in 2013. In overall, Asian countries are expected to maintain a mid-level growth and a "soft-landing" amid the global economic crisis. It forecast 6 percent growth in Asia for 2012 and 6.5 percent for 2013.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 on Sep. 5, 2012. Taiwan retained its 13th ranking among the 144 countries/economies and ranked 4th among all Asian economies covered in the report.
Although Taiwan's ranking remained unchanged, its overall score has continued to climb. Furthermore, Taiwan managed to remain within the world's top 10 percent, indicating its competitiveness remains solid amid signs of a slowdown in the global economic recovery.
Among the 111 indicators employed by the WEF in its assessment, Taiwan made the top 10 in 26 categories, five more than last year's performance. These include change in annual inflation and cluster development, both No.1, intensity of local competition, No.3, and company R&D spending, No.10. Among the remaining 16 top 10 indices, the greatest improvements came in "burden of government regulation," where the country moved up 20 spots to 10th, and "number of procedures required to start a business," in which it improved 26 places to 8th. This goes to show that the government's efforts to promote deregulation, enhance administrative efficiency and provide a more business-friendly environment have already garnered results
In the "Business Risk Reports" that Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) released in April this year, Taiwan scored 73 points in the "Profit Opportunity Recommendation (POR)" category. This ranked it third in the world and second in Asia among the 50 major countries assessed by BERI, after Singapore and Switzerland.
In its latest assessment BERI gave Taiwan a POR rating of 1B, meaning that continued investment is recommended. The report stated that in the field of foreign affairs, Taiwan is concentrating on strengthening economic relationships, particularly by concluding free trade agreements. Relations with China are expected to remain at cordial levels in the next five years. Looking ahead, Taiwan's POR score will remain at 73 points next year, keeping the island third in the world; in 2018 it is expected to rise to 75 points, still No. 3 in the world.
In the "Operations Risk Index" Taiwan ranked No. 2 in the world in the latest report, the same as the previous term, after only Singapore. BERI indicates that Taiwan will focus its efforts on the development of renewable energy and green industries in the coming two years, and that the government will continue relaxing restrictions on investment from mainland China. Taiwan will build itself into an offshore "yuan" trading center, allowing the finance industry to take advantage of this development niche. BERI evaluated the operating risk of Taiwanese enterprises as low and expects it to remain the second-lowest in the world in both 2014 and 2018.
In the recent report, Taiwan's political risk was assessed as low with a risk index ranking of No. 7 in the world (up from No. 8 in the previous report), after Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Germany, and Finland. In Asia, Taiwan ranked second. The report said that Taiwan's political ratings have recently strengthened and that relations with China are expected to improve further in 2013 and 2014. BERI predicted that Taiwan's political risk will continue to decline in 2014, to 6th in the world.
Taiwan's remittance and repatriation (R) factor ranked No. 2 in the world (up from No. 4 in the previous period), after the Netherlands; in Asia, Taiwan topped the list. In parallel with strengthening trade and current account performance, the island's R factor is expected to continue improving this year. BERI believes that foreign investment in Taiwan will increase steadily; preliminary statistics indicate that the island attracted US$389.14 million in FDI inflows in January, 30.1% higher than the same month of 2012. BERI predicts that Taiwan's R factor will rank No. 3 in the world in 2014 and No. 2 in 2018.
According to the 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook unveiled by IMD, Taiwan ranked 7th in terms of competitiveness among the 59 countries surveyed and was the 3rd place in Asia, next only to Hong Kong and Singapore. Of the four major indicators, the Taiwan government's efficiency ranked 5th among the 59 economies listed by the yearbook, up sharply from 10th place in 2011 and better performances in health and the environment, education, and scientific development pushed Taiwan to 12th from 16th in 2011 in terms of infrastructure. Besides, according to the IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012, Taiwan scored 7.67 in the entrepreneurship category on a scale of one to ten. That is, Taiwan has the world's best entrepreneurial society, up three places from last year and the best ranking the nation has received since 2001, indicating Taiwan's entrepreneurs has outstanding performance on coping ability while suffering from the financial crisis.
Taiwan was rated the world's 16th-easiest place to do business in a World Bank 2013 annual report released Oct 23rd 2012. Tenth in a series of annual reports comparing business regulations in 185 economies, the World Bank's "Doing Business 2013" report measures regulations affecting 11 areas of everyday business activity -- starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and employing workers. Taiwan moved upward on two indicators -- dealing with construction permits and protecting investors. Taiwan made the most impressive progress in the category of dealing with construction permits, moving forward to 9th place from 87th.
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