Overview of Bilateral Trade
As India is Taiwan’s 17th largest trading partner and 14th largest export destination, it is definitely an important partner country under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. Bilateral trade between India and Taiwan totaled US$5.97 billion in 2019, for a decrease of 17.54% over 2018 partially due to the negative impacts of the US-China trade war and the decline of global demand in manufacturing. In 2019, India’s exports to Taiwan amounted to US$2.51 billion, consisting primarily of plastics, organic chemicals and electrical machinery, while Taiwan’s exports to India amounted to US$3.28 billion, consisting mainly of mineral fuels, and iron and steel products.
Since Taiwan and India are important bilateral trading partners, both sides have been vigorously working on and discussing mutually beneficial measures to expand bilateral trade based on the MOU signed between TAITRA and ITPO in 2018 so as to rectify this decline in bilateral trade.
The 2019 Taiwan Expo in India was held at New Delhi’s India International Convention and Expo Center from 16 to 18 May. A total of 130 manufacturers and 230 booths were on display. The EXPO focused more on culture and introduced Taiwan through a people-oriented approach, bringing together the tea-drinking cultures and shared values of India and Taiwan in a symbolic display of cooperation and creativity.
Overview of Bilateral Investment
In terms of investment, India’s huge workforce and excellent high-tech talents make India an ideal business location. At present, there are about 105 large- and medium-sized Taiwanese companies investing in India, with investments totaling around US$1.5 billion. According to Taiwan’s government statistics, as of February 2020, Taiwan’s investments in India involved 106 cases, amounting to US$794 million, while India’s investments in Taiwan involved 571 cases, totaling US$6.6 million.
The main sectors of Taiwan’s investment include smart phones, electronics, auto parts, textiles, and machinery. Taiwanese investments in India will leverage and benefit from India’s high-tech talents, who, in turn, will be part of the backbone of Taiwanese businesses.
Currently, Taiwan is undertaking several investment projects in India. For instance, the Century Development Corporation had its groundbreaking ceremony in Bengaluru to commemorate the establishment of a Technology and Innovation International Park (TIIP) in July 2018.
Overview of Bilateral Industrial Cooperation
To further deepen collaboration between our respective industries, the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI) of Taiwan and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) of India held the 2019 Taiwan-India Industrial Collaboration Summit in Taipei on August 17, 2019 with support from our respective governments. This summit was an industry-led event, attended by more than 250 government officials and industry leaders to discuss collaboration in the fields of electronics manufacturing & industrial parks, smart cities & green technologies, and smart automotive components.
At present, there are 55 Taiwanese electronics firms located in south-central India that have formed a Taiwanese electronics supply chain. The products include mobile phones, Netcom equipment, industrial computers, etc. Hence, Taiwan’s electronics industry will be an important boost to the “Made in India” policy.
Due to the impacts of the US-China trade war, global electronic supply chains began to shift. India has become a new manufacturing base for electronic parts supply chains, which include important Taiwanese companies such as Wistron and Hon Hai. In recent years, India’s ability to produce electronic products locally has strengthened. Thus, corridors for Taiwan’s electronics industry have been formed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and other places in southern India, and more than 20 Taiwanese electronics or automobile-related industries have entered.
Strategically, Taiwan and India share common interests in terms of trade, investment, and industrial affairs. Both sides have gradually increased the scope of cooperation to include SMEs, science parks, traditional health, standardizations, and agriculture in order to further enhance the welfare of our citizens.