William Lai Succeeds Lin Chuan As Premier Two-term Tainan Mayor William Lai (Lai Ching-te), considered one of the rising stars in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was appointed to the premiership in early September. Lai, who turns 58 next month, holds a master’s in public health from Harvard and previously served as a member of…

Panama Cuts Ties With Taiwan Panama switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, the latest in a series of developments that further isolate Taiwan on the global stage. Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela cited “economic interests” as the incentive to sever the diplomatic ties. In response, Taiwan plans to halt all bilateral cooperative projects and…

Export Recovery Fuels Higher GDP Growth Optimism regarding Taiwan’s economy is rising alongside trade figures as the island continues to benefit from the ongoing recovery in the global economy. Nearly all of the local economic analytics firms have raised their forecasts for GDP growth for 2017, with Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top academic research institution, coming…

Improvement Seen in 2017 Outlook Economists are increasingly bullish on Taiwan’s growth prospects through 2017, with three local forecasting organizations raising GDP growth projections to over 2% for the year. The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) announced on April 19 that it had raised its forecast from 1.73% to 2.11%. “The stronger-than-expected momentum of…