Getting Started in Taiwan

Market Opportunities

The United States and Taiwan have a long-standing and vibrant trade relationship. Taiwan is our 9th largest goods trading partner and a top-10 destination for U.S. agricultural and food exports. U.S. goods and services trade with Taiwan totaled an estimated $88 billion in 2015.

The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) signed in 1994, provides the primary mechanism for trade dialogue between the United States and Taiwan authorities to expand trade and investment links and deepen cooperation. During the 2015 TIFA meetings, U.S. and Taiwan experts agreed to continue fully utilizing the Investment Working Group for dialogue on a robust set of priority investment issues to improve Taiwan’s investment climate and deepening cooperation on trade secrets protection. The two sides recognized the need for further engagement on improving the time-to-market of medical devices, including streamlining regulatory approvals. The TBT Working Group also yielded important progress on reducing regulatory obstacles in the chemical registration process. The United States and Taiwan held in-depth discussions on a range of agricultural issues and agreed that more must be done to secure meaningful progress on these issues. Taiwan authorities took further concrete steps in the months following the 2014 TIFA to improve trade secrets protection.  These developments reflected Taiwan’s continued attention to the importance of intellectual property protection for maintaining economic development and competitiveness.

Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002 and the WTO Government Procurement Agreement in 2009 led to the further dismantling of non-tariff barriers and a general lowering of the remaining tariffs.  These actions further enhanced U.S. opportunities in this market, including exports of high-value-added components and other inputs for high-tech manufacturing (e.g., petrochemical products and electronic production and test equipment), food and other agricultural products, and “American lifestyle” goods and services sought by Taiwan’s affluent population from luxury consumer goods to healthcare products. Taiwan does not require foreign firms to transfer technology, locate in specified areas, or hire a minimum number of local employees as a prerequisite to investment.

On November 1, 2012, Taiwan became the 37th economy to enter the U.S. Visa Waiver (VWP) program.   The U.S. VWP enables Taiwan leisure and business travelers to enter the United States for up to 90 days without a visa once they have received authorization though the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).  The United States is the top long-haul destination for Taiwan’s outbound travelers, and the U.S. VWP has substantially increased bilateral goodwill between the United States and Taiwan.  In April 2016, the U.S. and Taiwan signed a joint statement regarding cooperation on an International Expedited Traveler Initiative which will expand U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program.

Given Taiwan’s status as a mature economy, alongside the fact that it has robust trade relations with the U.S. means that companies seeking to enter the market must consider their product positioning vis-à-vis existing competition both domestically produced and imported.  Taiwan has an ageing population, so demand for products and services targeted at that demographic will grow for the foreseeable future.

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Services for U.S. Companies


We offer several cost-effective ways to help you find the right sales agent or distributor in Taiwan. These programs can also help you identify qualified sales leads or expand your presence in Taiwan.

  • Initial Market Check (IMC)

The Initial Market Check (IMC) is a service that gathers feedback on a company’s product(s)/service(s) from industry players, providing insight into the company’s potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges in a particular market. We will contact 5-10 industry leaders in Taiwan, present your company and products to them, gather their feedback, and prepare a report summarizing the results, including our recommendations for next steps and contact information for potential partners. In addition, we will evaluate the competitive environment for your product or service and provide an opinion regarding the feasibility of entering the market. The IMC is often used as a precursor to a Gold Key Service (GKS); if this is the case, we may provide a price adjustment due to IMC efficiency gains.

  • Gold Key Matching Service (GKS)

For Gold Key clients, we will identify and arrange appointments with pre-screened prospective partners – typically four per day. We will begin work on your Gold Key once we have received payment, and 20 sets of your company’s marketing material, and a letter of introduction printed on your company stationary.

Please click here to view our facilities for Gold Key Matching Service (GKS) (PDF 5.4MB).

  • International Company Profile (ICP)

Commercial report on local company’s basic background. Confidential.

  • International Partner Search (IPS)

The IPS assists U.S. firms in obtaining interested and qualified overseas partners for their services or products. The IPS promotes U.S. exports by helping U.S. firms gain effective representation abroad. CS Taiwan will conduct a search to select the most promising business prospects for each firm. CS Taiwan initially screens the possible partners, then directly contacts the top prospects to review the U.S. firm’s products or services marketing objectives.

  • Platinum Key Service (PKS)

For Platinum Key Service (PKS) clients, we provide support for a number of client objectives including: Market Identification and Product/Service Launch; Ongoing Major Project/Government Tender Assistance; Trade Dispute Resolution; Regulatory and Technical Assistance; Technical Standards Approvals and Product Registration; and Reduction of Market Access Barriers. The fee range for the Platinum Key Service covers a period of up to six months. Fees are based on estimated costs incurred by the Commercial Section to carry out the PKS Objectives. Clients may request in writing to temporarily pause the six-month PKS and reactivate it at a later date within twenty-four months of the initial PKS agreement. This flexibility is especially useful for major procurement projects that may experience delays.

  • Single Company Promotion (SCP)

The Single Company Promotion (SCP) provides U.S. companies with customized promotional services to help increase the awareness of their product / service in a specific market.

  • Business Facilitation Service (BFS)

U.S. companies which wish to hold seminars, press conferences, catalog shows, or meetings to promote their company and products/services may use our facilities. We charge at cost for facility spaces and audio/visual equipment. Coffee/tea services are available at extra cost, but no snack and meal services.

  • BuyUSA Featured U.S. Exporters (FUSE)

Featured U.S. Exporters (FUSE) is a directory of U.S. products that appears on CS Taiwan’s local website. Designed for U.S. companies looking for business partners in Taiwan, this service enables clients to post a listing of their product or product line complete with an image. Each listing contains company name, product/service description, objective in the Taiwan market, an image.

  • BuyUSA Business Service Provider (BSP)

The BuyUSA Website Service gives qualified business service providers located in Taiwan the opportunity to appear on the CS Taiwan website, and thus be exposed to US business customers. In turn, American exporters reap the benefits of an online source of qualified business service providers located here.

  • Customized Market Research (CMR)

Our specialists, working from U.S. Commercial Service offices in Taipei and Kaohsiung, provide individual U.S. companies with non-published, in-depth market research for a nominal fee. Order a complete set or specify a certain type of report that best serves your needs.

  • Market Size

Information on market size/demand for a particular product or service, including import/export statistics, local production, and statistics of imports from the U.S.

  • Market Trends

Evaluation of market potential for a particular product or service based upon general market trends, industry sources, and import statistics. The reports includes expected significant developments likely to have an impact on market prospects, such as major new investments or projects, government programs, policy changes, new legislation, etc.

  • Sales Channels

Identification of the most common sales channels used for marketing a specific product or service in a given market.

  • Market Entry Issues

Information on duties, taxes, quotas, non-tariff barriers and local trade regulations which may affect the marketing of a specific product or service.

  • Standards/Product Registrations

Information on standards and required registration procedures as they pertain to a particular product or service.

  • Regulatory Issues

Information on the general regulatory environment and legislation governing the marketing of products or services in a given sector.

  • Competition

Identification of competitive (both local and other foreign) technologies, products or services, and suppliers/producers of a given product or service in the market.

  • Customized Service

Customized research designed to meet the needs of the client.