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Most US companies in Taiwan upbeat on 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Around two-thirds of American businesses in Taiwan were profitable in 2013, and around the same proportion of businesses expect an increase in profit in 2014, according to the 2014 Business Climate Survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei yesterday.

Eleven percent of respondents said they were “very profitable,” while 54 percent said they were “relatively profitable” in 2013. The rest broke even or were close to it. However, business conditions remained inferior to 2010 and 2011, when respectively 74 percent and 72 percent of respondents said they were very or relatively profitable, the survey said.

A total of 64 percent of respondents are expecting an increase in the level of both revenue and profit in the coming year — a slight drop from 66 percent last year and 68 percent in the 2012 survey, but far less than the 82 percent recorded in 2011.

In general, respondents consider Taiwan to be a good place to do business, with an industrious and well-educated workforce. In general, Taiwan's workforce is viewed very favorably. The major shortcomings are the degree of creativity, initiative and international-mindedness.

This year, according to the survey results, 41 percent of companies plan to hire more people. It is the larger companies that expressed an intention to recruit more personnel. Companies in the legal services, management consulting, health care and human-resource consulting sectors are the most likely to hire more staff, AmCham said.

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