One of the key factors in Taiwan's rapid economic development is its well-planned and efficient transport network. As an export-oriented economy, its many businesses are heavily dependent on shipping, by air and sea, for the transport of their goods to overseas markets.
On 5 January 1995, Taiwan approved the Asia-Pacific Regional Operations Center (APROC) Plan, an
|Country||Telephones a||Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a||Radio Stations a||Radios a||TV Stations a||Televisions a||Internet Service Providers c||Internet Users c|
|Taiwan||12.49 M (2000)||16 M (2000)||AM 218; FM 333; shortwave 50 (1999)||16 M (1994)||29||8.8 M (1998)||8||6.4 M|
|United States||194 M||69.209 M (1998)||AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18||575 M||1,500||219 M||7,800||148 M|
|China||135 M (2000)||65 M (2001)||AM 369; FM 259; shortwave 45||417 M||3,240||400 M||3||22 M (2001)|
|Singapore||1.928 M (2000)||2.333 M (2000)||AM 0; FM 16; shortwave 2||2.6 M (2000)||6 (2000)||1.33 M||9||1.74 M|
|a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.|
|b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.|
|c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].|
ambitious project that will transform the island into a center of business and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. With APROC, Taiwan plans to attract the establishment of new local, as well as foreign, companies on the island. Taiwan's world-class and well-organized facilities would see such companies conveniently placed to take advantage of opportunities in the flourishing Southeast Asian markets, and the much coveted market of mainland China.
There are a total of 34,901 kilometers (21,687 miles) of roads in Taiwan, 90 percent of which are paved. Taiwan has a modern railway system that provides frequent and convenient passenger service between major cities on the island. As of 1999, Taiwan's railway network totaled 2,481 kilometers (1,542 miles). Railways in Taiwan are operated by the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA), the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, and the Taiwan Forestry Bureau. The TRA provides passenger and freight services to the general public, while the Taiwan Sugar Corporation and the Taiwan Forestry Bureau haul their own products and offer only limited passenger service.
The government has already begun the development of a high-speed railway (HSR) that is expected to begin operating in June 2003. The planned HSR route, 340 kilometers (212 miles) long, will pass through the west corridor of the island. Ten stations will be located from Taipei to Kaohsiung to serve about 22 million residents in the region. The estimated construction cost of the project is US$13.05 billion, and the HSR will cut the present travel time from north to south by train or highway vehicles from 4 hours to 90 minutes.
As of December 1997, Taiwan's shipping industry had a fleet of 255 vessels weighing over 100 gross tons. Taiwan claims to have one of the largest fleets of cargo container ships in the world. Taiwan has 6 international harbors: Chilung, Suao, Taichung, Hualien, Anping, and Kaohsiung. Waterborne imports and exports handled by these ports amounted to 166.1 million tons in 1997.
As of 1997 51 airlines have been providing flight services to destinations in Taiwan. There are 34 foreign carriers, and 5 domestic-based airlines: EVA Airways, Mandarin Airlines, China Airlines, Transasia Airways, and Far Eastern Air Transport Corporation. Three Taiwan-based carriers offer international charter services: UNI Airways Corporation, Great China Airlines, and U-Land Airlines.
Taiwan has 2 international airports: Chiang Kai-shek International Airport at Taoyuan in northern Taiwan and Kaohsiung International Airport in the south. In addition, there are several domestic airports.