Legal Market Overview
Having combatted the Covid-19 pandemic with a speed and efficiency shared by few other countries, Taiwan has quickly suppressed new waves and variants as they have emerged over the course of 2021. In doing so, the economy has continued to thrive practically uninhibited, with forecasts suggesting growth will continue at its quickest pace in more than a decade.
In large part, the surge is driven by the unwavering and ever-growing global demand for semiconductors, integrated circuits, and other electronic products. The widespread adoption of remote working practices in the wake of the pandemic has spurred much of this significant uptick, with projected export growth adjusted from 20 percent to 28.5 percent year-on-year. Indeed, as a fundamentally export-oriented economy, Taiwan’s largest companies draw the greatest portion of their revenue from overseas sales – not only in tech and electronics, but also in shipping, steel, machine tools, and plastics.
Despite often strained diplomatic relations between the two nations, China has become Taiwan’s largest trade partner, accounting for 13.2 percent and 28 percent of all import and export activity, respectively. The cross-strait ties are only growing closer, with Taiwan relying on mainland China for agricultural products and industrial raw materials as it continues to transform into a high-tech and service economy.
A lack of natural resources presently compels Taiwan to import practically all of its energy supply from the middle east and southeast Asia. However, a number of offshore – and latterly, onshore – wind farm developments are a key part of the country’s emergent renewable power offering (Taiwan is also one of the world’s foremost producers of solar-powered batteries). Other key industries include yacht building and fish processing.
In stark contrast to Hong Kong and China, international law firms have made limited inroads into the Taiwanese legal market. Baker McKenzie and Jones Day are by far the most dominant foreign players, while Eiger, Lee and Li Attorneys-at-Law, Tsar & Tsai Law Firm, and Lin & Partners Attorneys-At-Law are some of the most noteworthy domestic outfits.