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  • Author: Kerry Brown
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, as Mainland China has been developing and liberalizing its economy, Taiwan has been undergoing an equally remarkable but very different political transformation, from martial law in 1987 to its current status as one of the most vibrant, stable democracies in Asia. Despite its eventful experience of the democratization process, the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2008 proved that Taiwan is now a mature, and stable, democracy. It has passed the ultimate test, seeing the successful transition of rule from one party to another and back again, without social turmoil. Economic performance over the same period has been less striking. Once among the fastestgrowing economies, Taiwan is now afflicted by a relatively low growth rate, and problems over the outflow of capital and investment to the Mainland. The potential for conflict over cross-straits relations remains but it has been significantly reduced under President Ma and by the Mainland Chinese government's greater accommodation with a democratic Taiwan in the last decade. The risk of a military conflict between the two sides, which could drag in the US, and therefore the rest of the world, cannot be entirely discounted, however. Taiwan's greatest challenges in the next decade remain the same as in the last – to maintain its identity, to develop its democratic system, and to handle relations with the Mainland in a way that preserves its interests while avoiding conflict. Taiwan's system, which has so far proved itself robust and effective, faces a new challenge too: how to benefit from the increase in Mainland investment abroad.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Thomsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Global competition requires a global response, and European firms are now at the forefront of attempts to become internationally diversified multinational enterprises. European firms have been accused at various times of being too focused on their integrating regional market or too tied by historical links with certain countries or regions to develop a genuinely global strategy. Yet figures for foreign direct investment suggest not only that European firms have invested far more abroad than their American and Japanese rivals, but that they have also done so in far more countries. Of particular relevance for long-term profitability, European enterprises have a much stronger presence in emerging markets than either US or Japanese firms. Europe has in turn received more inward investment from those countries than either the United States or Japan. These growing links between Europe and emerging economies could provide European firms with a competitive edge in what are the most promising markets of the future.
  • Topic: Globalization, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe