In this talk, Dr Michelle Hsieh illustrates some of the distinctive features of the Taiwanese development experience which tend to be overlooked when analysing Taiwan’s current industrial transformation. The conventional view depicts the hollowing out of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the key to Taiwan’s initial success, with the transition to high-technology industrialisation. Contrary to the pessimistic claims, however, Taiwanese SMEs have moved up the value-added ladder in various industries and continued to thrive as independent suppliers in a variety of global production networks. This talk will address the sources of learning in the Taiwanese SME system and their resilience in the world market, drawing on the adaptation experience of the metal and machinery sector. It will conclude with a reconceptualisation of the development model and policy implications.
Michelle Hsieh is an Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
14 December 2023