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Foreigners are often unprepared for doing business in Taiwan. The working culture is unfamiliar to most Westerners, and achieving an adequate understanding may require some cross-cultural training.
Though the country prides itself on its capitalist success, Confucian values still permeate the business environment and dictate etiquette and common practice. Expats should familiarise themselves with this system of behaviour to better succeed in the business sphere.
Taiwan was ranked 15th out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey for 2018, scoring particularly well for getting electricity (3rd), dealing with construction permits (4th) and enforcing contracts (10th). One area of concern, however, is getting credit in Taiwan, with the country placing 90th in that category.
Taiwan is largely dependent on foreign trade and the number of multinationals in the country means that locals are often accustomed to interacting with expats in the business world.
Business culture in Taiwan
While Taiwan’s highly developed capitalist economy is marked by modern enterprise, its business culture is rooted in old-world tenets.
With the exception of a few multinationals, most businesses in Taiwan are small- to medium-sized and family-owned. Senior managers assume a paternal role and not only take an interest in all activities but expect to be consulted on each decision prior to action being taken.
Hierarchy is established, and greatly respected, although protocols are not as formal as in nearby Japan and South Korea. As a consequence, lower-level employees often lack initiative.
In accordance with Confucian principles, maintaining a sense of harmony by carefully controlling one’s interpersonal relationships is paramount. Individualism is abandoned for the collective and in many cases, local work groups are a major source of identity for people.
According to this line of thought, the most important aspects of business culture in Taiwan are ‘face’ and guanxi (relationships).
Top 10 Small Business Investment Opportunities in Taiwan
Automotive and Car Parts Business
Without an iota of doubt, Taiwan has a robust economy that is very much capable of high technology industrial production. One business therefore you may want to invest in this country is that Auto parts business. However, this all depends on the scale you would like to start from.
You may decide to set up your own manufacturing company, as well as become a distributor to other countries. This is one industry that requires huge capital and you must be able to pool the appropriate resources to start out.
Medical Supplies and Equipment
The need to solve the problems in the health sector all over the world is such that requires good supply of equipments. Therefore this is the reason why Taiwan producers have taken it upon themselves to produce the very best of medical supplies.
You too can plug into this business opportunity. Some of the things that may be considered dealing in are ; dental equipment and appliances, diagnostic instruments, hospital equipments, medical disposable items, prosthetic and orthopedic products , amongst others.
Taiwan is one country where the production of hardware is in abundance, if you are an IT savvy person, then you may want to consider dealing in Hardware. This might be a capital intensive business to start with; however, you can be sure that the returns on your investment wouldn’t be regret.
If you are such a one that has a penchant for bicycles generally. Then you may make this a business line as there are lots of bicycle products opportunities in Taiwan. You can decide to carve a niche for your business by asking yourself questions like; who are my target market? Would it be bicycle product for toddlers, teenagers or adults? These are all that you must put into consideration.
It is no longer news that heavy duty machineries can be found in Taiwan. Hence, it might also no longer be news to you that you could make great profit from dealing in machinery in Taiwan. This is because the market all over the world is a very vast one. You may decide to set up your business in Taiwan for the sole aim of exporting to countries from there. Types of machinery include; truck machines, generating set as well as others.
Another business which you might yet want to invest in Taiwan is the communication products. Taiwan is like the one stop centre to get these products and you must be ready to take advantage of this opportunity. Some of the communication products include; fax, modems, wireless communication products, LAN card and adapter, amongst many other products.
Consumer Electronics and Electrical Parts Business
There is a ready way to get these products supplied to your stores when you operate such a business in Taiwan. The market for consumer electronics and electrical parts is a very big one in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, you name it. Some of the products you may want to deal in include the following; air condition equipment, audio electronic products, battery, cell chargers, modules, just to mention a few.
Food and Agricultural Products
Much more than the electronics and the equipment industries in Taiwan, there is also the food and agricultural sector. And the truth is that there is as much profit in the food and agricultural business as there is in other sectors. Some of the products you may consider dealing in are; confectioneries, biscuits, snacks, farm products- fresh or chilled, food additives, frozen foods and what have you.
Fashion Accessories and Household Textiles
The love for fashion is such that cuts across continents and borders. Therefore, you may also invest in the fashion business in far away Taiwan. There are lots of industries who work tirelessly to churn out quality products for fashion lovers. Some of the products that could fetch you good money in the venture include; belts, gloves, hair ornaments, hats, hosiery, towel, handkerchiefs amongst others.
Gifts and Work of Arts Business
You can be rest assured that the market for gifts and work of arts is such that is vast. When you have your business well positioned in Taiwan then you can boast of good returns. Some of the products in this category that can be considered are; badges, plaques, cosmetic supplies, ceramic and porcelain ware, Christmas decoration, key chain, handicraft and what have you.
There you go! 10 top business opportunities that could be tapped from in Taiwan. However, please remember that you must play a great role in further research on the areas that are of interest to you. This is so that you are conversant with what you want to deal in, so as to avoid a fold up after you commence operation of business.