Post-COVID-19 Taiwan in the Global Semiconductor Industry: The Context of the New U.S. Administration

Yu Ching KUO, Robyn Klingler-Vidra

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationEditorial


Early into the global pandemic — and amidst ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions — the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook in April 2020 forecast that Taiwan’s GDP would shrink by 4% in 2020. However, by October 2020, Taiwan’s exports unexpectedly grew by 3.4% and GDP increased by 2%. The outperformance was partly due to Taiwan’s capacity to fight COVID-19, which contributed to the export growth rate of semiconductors and electronics and information technology industries, which was as high as 20%. In fact, in 2020, the semiconductor industry contributed 15% of Taiwan’s GDP. The strength of Taiwan’s semiconductor firms, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), is not only pertinent to the island the Portuguese named “Formosa.” Taiwan’s formidable position in global semiconductor manufacturing informed the December 2020 NY Times headline that “Pound for pound, Taiwan is the Most Important Place in the World.” Also, The Economist’s January 2021 asserted that technology parks in Taiwan (and South Korea) are the 21st century’s economic choke-point for the global economy as oil and the Strait of Hormuz was in the previous century.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationTaiwan Insight
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2021


  • Brexit
  • semiconductor
  • Biden
  • United States


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