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Taiwan Pro-Growth Approach Has No Need Of China

Tsai Ing-wen is expected to continue her pro-growth policies after a decisive victory in the self-ruled Taiwan’s presidential election on Saturday. Incumbent Tsai of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secured a second term with 8.2 million votes — the most any leader has secured since Taiwan held its first direct presidential elections in 1996. Her 57.1% share of votes compared with 38.61% or 5.5 million votes for her closest competitor Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang or Nationalist Party, according to Taiwan’s Central Election Commission.

Tsai’s weekend win was aided by concerns over mainland Chinese influence that spilled over from long-drawn anti-establishment protests in Hong Kong and her pro-growth policies are expected to continue. Tsai’s win was a dramatic turnaround from end-2018 when the independence-leaning DPP lost several important cities in mayoral elections partly attributed to unpopular reforms in the state pension system. Since end-2018, Tsai has shifted her agenda from one focusing on social reforms to a pro-growth one, which has helped the economy at an opportune time for her administration. Taiwan posted 2.91% on-year GDP growth in the third quarter of 2019, bucking the sluggish trend displayed by trade reliant Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Taiwan’s 50 richest saw an increase of 7.7% in their total net worth. Their cumulative net worth rose to US$112 billion from $104 billion since fortunes were last measured in November 2018. The gain was modest compared with Taiwan’s benchmark stock index, which rose more than 22% over the same period.

The Wei brothers, Ing-chou, Ying-chiao, Yin-chun and Yin-heng, of food and beverage giant Tingyi, jointly take the top spot with a combined net worth of $7.2 billion. The brothers replace Terry Gou of Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) who drops to No. 4 as his net worth declined to $6.9 billion from $7.3 billion.

Brothers Tsai Hong-tu and Cheng-ta of Cathay Financial Holding rank No. 2 with a combined net worth of $7.1 billion. Tsai Eng-meng of snack maker Want Want China is the biggest individual gainer in dollar terms on this year’s list. He added $1.4 billion to his fortune as lower raw material prices boosted his company’s earnings in the first half of the year. He rises two spots to No. 3 with a net worth of $7 billion.

Wu Li-gann (No. 32) is the biggest gainer in percentage terms. His wealth surged more than 138% to $1.36 billion as shares in his WUS Printed Circuit more than doubled in anticipation of China’s 5G rollout. Tsai Ming-kai (No. 35, $1.3 billion) saw his fortune rise 80% on share gains at his company MediaTek, a developer of 5G chips.

Below, the top 10 richest peole in Twain*:

  1. Wei Ing-chou, Ying-chiao, Yin-chun & Yin-heng; US$7.2 billion
  2. Tsai Hong-tu & Cheng-ta; $7.1 billion
  3. Tsai Eng-meng; $7 billion
  4. Terry Gou; $6.9 billion
  5. Daniel & Richard Tsai; $5.7 billion
  6. Jason & Richard Chang; $4.6 billion
  7. Barry Lam; $4.3 billion
  8. Pierre Chen; $3.8 billion
  9. Lin Shu-hong; $3.75 billion
  10. Scott Lin; $2.9 billion

*The minimum amount required to make the list was $590 million, up from $530 million previously.


  • The Taiwan Research Institute (TRI), one of the country’s leading economic think tanks, has forecast that Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow 2.63 percent from a year earlier in 2020.
  • TRI President Wu Tsai-yi (吳再益) said that on the back of more investment expected from Taiwanese investors amid the Washington-Beijing trade dispute, Taiwan’s economy is expected to perform better in 2020 compared with 2019.
  • According to the TRI, private investment is expected to grow 3.83 percent, and capital formation is expected to grow 4.45 percent in 2020, while private consumption is expected to grow 1.95 percent.