Currency Transport and Communications Tourism hands of those who worked it, and the previous owners received compensation in the form of shares in the new state industries which were set up. The USA exercised considerable influence on Taiwan’s industrial development; in co-operation with the Taiwan government it set up the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction (JCRR) and invested considerable sums of money in improving the infrastructure, intensifying fishing and cattle-breeding, manufacturing fertilisers and improving standards of education and health care. Now many farms are able to harvestthree rice crops every year. Taiwan has become a major exporter of agricultural products.
Industry is mainly export-orientated and relies heavily on labour-intensive production. Many individual stages of production are carried out which would result in high labour and ancillary costs in the Western world. Examples of these include the textile, precision engineering and electronic industries, especially those concerned with the manufacture and assembly of photographic equipment and computers. Taiwan’s major trading partner is the USA, followed by Japan. Indirect trade with the People’s Republic of China via Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore is gaining in importance.
Obtaining raw materials is a problem for Taiwanese industry. As the island has relatively few natural resources of its own (these are mainly hard coal, natural gas, marble and asbestos) it is obliged to pay for the import of raw materials much of what it earns from its exports.
The major exports – mainly to the USA, Hong Kong and Japan – are electronic equipment, machinery, electrical goods, textiles, metal, plastics and rubber goods, as well as agricultural produce such as rice, tea, sugar, fruit and vegetables.
Imports – mainly from Japan, the USA and Germany – are electronics, machinery, chemicals, crude oil and motor vehicles.
Service industries contribute 54% ofthe gross domestic product, industry 42-3% and agriculture 3-7%.
The National Economic Development Plan for the years 1991-96 aims to increase the income per capita from US $8000 (1990) to US $14,000 (1996).
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