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Fewer American Businesses Optimistic about Taiwan's Economy: AmCham Survey

Jan 15, 2014 | By Judy Li

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei) recently conducted a survey of its member companies on Taiwan's future economic prospects, and the results show that 54% of the firm's polled are optimistic about the island's business climate over the next five years. This is down two points from last year's 56%, and down sharply from 71% in 2012 and 81% in 2011.

The survey indicates that governmental bureaucracy jumped to first place among the issues which the respondents consider have the greatest impacts on their operation here, followed by inconsistent regulatory interpretation and changes in local demand.

Of the companies polled, 63% expect to see a growth of revenue and profit in the coming year--also down, from 69% in 2013 and 81% in 2011. Forty-eight percent intend to keep investing on the island, and 44% foresee no change in level of investment.

In the area of employment, 43% of the AmCham companies surveyed increased their headcount in 2013, either substantially or slightly, and 39% reported no change. The larger respondents expect to recruit more personnel in 2014, especially those in the fields of legal services, management consulting, healthcare, and human-resource consulting.

In terms of cross-strait economic relations, the respondents believe that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010 between Taiwan and China has a positive effect on Taiwan, and that the China-Taiwan Services Agreement is a win-win development for both sides.
 
More than half (53%) of those polled see the lack of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the U.S. as a disadvantage for their business, and over 80% strongly back Taiwan's pursuit of membership in the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).

The respondents also reported a highly positive attitude about the living environment in Taiwan, but consider the “English-friendly” deficiency as a major problem. (JL)     


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