COVID-19 AROUSES FEAR, CAUTION  Markets around the world have begun tumbling due to coronavirus fears, and a “black swan” recession looks possible in some economies. The Taiwan Stock Exchange has not been insulated from the shocks, with weighted shares plunging 220 points, or 2%, in late February. The outlook for a quick recovery does not look promising, as…

2019 Ends Well for Taiwan Economy Prior to the recent national elections, Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan compiled and analyzed economic data that spanned the terms of all of Taiwan’s democratically elected presidents. His January 8 op-ed, titled “A Taiwanese Election That’s Not All About China,” argued that economic considerations, rather than just cross-Strait relations, would…

Landslide Electoral Win for President Tsai Incumbent presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on January 11 won a landslide victory against her Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) opponent, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, defeating him by almost 20 percentage points. Tsai, who garnered a record-breaking 8.17 million votes (57.13%), in her victory speech…

Taiwan Feed-in Tariffs Raised Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in late December announced changes in the feed-in tariff (FiT) rate to be offered for various categories of renewable energy in 2020. The rate for solar photovoltaic power generation, which includes the cost of solar panel recycling, will be cut to NT$3.9408-$5.7788 per kilowatt-hour, depending…

Chinese Defector Makes Espionage Claims Australian media on November 23 reported that a man claiming to be a former Chinese intelligence agent had defected to Australian authorities in October, requesting asylum there. Wang Liqiang, 23, whose wife and young child currently live in Australia, claims to have taken part in several espionage activities. These include…

Offshore Wind Enters Commercial Stage President Tsai Ing-wen attended the inauguration of Taiwan’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, Formosa 1, on November 12 in a ceremony at the Longfeng Fishing Harbor in Miaoli. Located between two and six kilometers off the coast of Miaoli, the NT$18.7 billion (over US$623 million), 128-megawatt (MW) project is designed…

Record Retail Consumption in Q3 Taiwanese consumers increased their retail purchases last month, defying a sluggish economy and unfavorable trade conditions. Retail sales for October rose 4.2% year-on-year to NT$340.7 billion (US$11.2 billion), a record-breaking figure for that month, apparently encouraged by the recent boom in Taiwan and U.S. stock markets, department store anniversary sales,…