Taiwan has a developed market economy. The gross national product (GNP) of Taiwan demonstrates that its economy has been growing slowly but steadily over the past decade, except in 2009 when the global financial crisis took place. Electronics, petroleum refining and chemicals are among major domestic industries. The country also plays a significant role in the global semiconductor industry. Upon observing a sector breakdown of Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP), it becomes evident that the country has successfully made the transition from a manufacturing-driven economy into a country where more than two thirds of domestic values generated originate in service activities.
Taiwan has a strong trading economy. Foreign trade has been the engine of Taiwan’s economic growth during the past few decades. In 2012, Taiwan had denoted a merchandise trade surplus of approximately 30 billion U.S. dollars. Among its main trade partners are mainland China, Hong Kong, and the United States. Taiwan positions itself as a gateway to mainland China and Asia Pacific. Geographically, it finds itself between the world’s second largest economy, China, and the third largest, Japan.