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Taiwan, an island in East Asia, has a rich history in traditional industries such as agriculture and handicrafts. In this article, we will delve into the traditional industry of Taiwan and compare it to its current industry landscape, with a focus on the traditional aspects.

The Traditional Industry


Taiwan’s traditional economy was primarily agrarian, with rice and sugarcane being the major crops. The island’s fertile land and favorable climate made it ideal for crop cultivation. Farmers used traditional farming methods and relied on labor-intensive techniques to produce food for domestic consumption and export (Source: MyTaiwanTour, 2020).


Another vital sector of Taiwan’s traditional industry was handicrafts. Skilled artisans produced a wide array of goods, including pottery, woodworking, textiles, and metalworking. Among the most famous traditional handicrafts are the Yingge ceramics, which date back to the early 19th century (Source: Taipei Times, 2015).

Taiwan’s Industry Today

High-Tech Manufacturing

Taiwan’s traditional industries underwent a significant transformation starting in the 1960s, with the island shifting its focus toward high-tech manufacturing. Today, Taiwan is a global leader in the production of semiconductors, electronics, and computer hardware. Companies like TSMC and Foxconn have become household names in the technology sector (Source: CNBC, 2021).

Service Industry

The service industry has also grown in importance in Taiwan’s economy, with sectors such as finance, healthcare, and tourism becoming prominent. The growth of the service industry has helped create jobs and diversify the island’s economy (Source: Focus Taiwan, 2020).

The Legacy of Traditional Industries

Despite the rapid industrial transformation, Taiwan’s traditional industries have not disappeared entirely. Some traditional practices and industries have evolved, adapting to modern technologies and consumer demands.

Organic Farming and Agritourism

In recent years, Taiwan has seen a resurgence of interest in organic farming and agritourism. Small-scale farmers are promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices, offering visitors a chance to experience traditional farming methods while supporting the local economy (Source: Taiwan News, 2019).

Revival of Handicrafts

The handicraft industry has also seen a revival, with younger generations taking an interest in preserving and promoting traditional craftsmanship. Government initiatives and cultural centers, such as the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, provide support and training to local artisans to ensure the continuation of these time-honored skills (Source: NTCRI, 2021).


Taiwan’s traditional industry laid the foundation for its modern-day success. Although the island’s economy has shifted toward high-tech manufacturing and services, the influence and legacy of its traditional industries remain. The revival and preservation of traditional practices in agriculture and handicrafts showcase Taiwan’s commitment to its cultural heritage while adapting to the changing global landscape.





MyTaiwanTour. (2020). Taiwan’s Agricultural Heritage.

Taipei Times. (2015). Yingge: The Birthplace of Taiwan’s Ceramic Industry.

CNBC. (2021). How Taiwan became a global leader in semiconductors.

Focus Taiwan. (2020). Taiwan’s Service Industry in 2020.

Taiwan News. (2019). Agritourism booming in Taiwan as urban dwellers seek escape to the countryside.

National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute. (2021). About NTCRI.