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India – Taiwan bilateral relations
India – Taiwan bilateral relations
The bilateral relations between India and Taiwan have improved since the 1990s, despite both the nations not maintaining official diplomatic relations. India recognizes only the People’s Republic of China (in mainland China) and not the Republic of China’s claims of being the legitimate government of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. It was a conflict that emerged after the Chinese Civil War (1945–49). However, India’s economic and commercial links as well as people-to-people contacts with Taiwan have expanded in recent years.
According to a 2010 Gallup poll, 21% of Taiwanese people approved of Indian leadership, with 19% disapproving and 60% uncertain. According to a December 2019 survey conducted via National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center, 53.8% of Taiwanese people polled overall supported “increasing ties with India”, with 73.1% of DPP voters supporting increasing ties with India and 44.6% of KMT voters supporting increasing ties in general.
In May 2020, two members of the Indian Parliament virtually attended the newly elected President Tsai’s swearing in ceremony and praised Taiwanese democracy, thereby sending what some have termed a warning message to China and signaling a strengthening of relations between the Tsai and Modi administrations. In July 2020, the Indian government appointed a top career diplomat, Joint Secretary Gourangalal Das, the former head of the U.S. division in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, as its new envoy to Taiwan.
Both governments have launched efforts to significantly expand bilateral trade and investment, especially in the fields of information technology (IT), energy, telecommunications and electronics. India’s trade with Taiwan in the calendar year 2008 registered a total of US$5.34 billion, an increase of 9.5% as compared to 2007. In 2007, bilateral trade between the two sides had risen to 80% to reach US$4.8 billion. In 2008, Indian exports to Taiwan declined year-on-year at a rate of -7.8%, to touch US$2.33 billion as compared to US$2.53 billion in 2007.
Taiwanese exports to India in 2008 grew at a rate of 28.41% to reach US$3 billion. In 2008, India recorded a trade deficit of US$669 million with Taiwan, as against a trade surplus of US$159 million in the year 2007. Major Indian exports to Taiwan include waste oil, naptha, cereals, cotton, organic chemicals, copper, aluminum and food residues. In 2019, India – Taiwan trade volume was US$7 billion, growing at a rate of 20% YoY.
Major Taiwanese exports to India include integrated circuits, machinery and other electronic products. India is also keen to attract Taiwanese investment particularly in hi-tech and labour-intensive industries. More than 80 Taiwanese companies and entities currently have a presence in India.
Some of the companies include Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (FoxConn), Sanyang Corporation, Gigabyte Technologies, Continental Engineering, CTCI, Apache and Feng Tay (shoes), Wintek Corporation, Delta Electronics, D-Link, Meita Industrials, Transcend, MediaTek, etc.
Bilateral trade has experienced significant growth in recent years.
To know more about bilateral relations between India and Taiwan, please download our booklet.