Country Profile: Taiwan
Capital and largest cityTaipei
Official languagesStandard Mandarin
Area36, 190 sq km
Population23, 037, 031 (2008 est.)
CurrencyNew Taiwan dollar
Taiwan is an island, but is also the simplified name which people use when referring to the state of the Republic of China. The Republic of China was a founding member of the United Nations.
The official national language of Taiwan is Standard Mandarin, however, the majority of the population speak Taiwanese or Hakka. The aboriginal tribes in Taiwan speak some of the many Formosan languages.
Taiwan's economy underwent rapid expansion and growth in the second half of the twentieth century, and this growth has been nicknamed the "Taiwan Miracle". Because of this development, Taiwan's economy is not considered to be a tiger economy, and it ranks as one of the "Four Asian Tigers", alongside Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea. Now, Taiwan and the Republic of China in general has a dynamic capitalist economy, with much privatisation and foreign investment. Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization.
Taiwan's workforce is mostly employed in the service and industry sector, with agriculture only making up a small percentage of their economy. Main industries include electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, armaments, iron and steel, macinery, food processing, cement, vehicles and pharmaceuticals.
Taiwan imports most of its energy needs, with the US its most important trade partner. However, Taiwan does produce nuclear energy and is looking at ways of developing and harvesting more sustainable means of providing energy.
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