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The New Taiwan dollar (TWD) is freely convertible and there are few restrictions on overseas money transfers to Taiwan or for money transfers from Taiwan.
Taiwan money transfer regulations
For money transfers over a value of US$100m that require TWD to be converted into foreign currency, the central bank can demand that payment be spread out over several days in order to avoid destabilising Taiwan’s foreign exchange market.
Taiwan’s Investment Commission (IC), which is overseen by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, reviews certain foreign investment demands, for example, in high-priority sectors or in public enterprises undergoing privatisation. Approved incoming investors can readily obtain foreign currency, and capital invested in Taiwan can be freely remitted if reported in advance to the IC, though approval is not required. Locally-generated profits, capital gains, dividends, interest and royalties may also be repatriated. Funds that are denominated in foreign currency can be moved in and out of the country freely if they do not required conversion to TWD and do not exceed an annual value of US$5m for individuals and US$50m for corporations.
On Taiwanese exchange platforms, the TWD was most frequently exchanged against the US dollar (USD) in April 2013, according to the most recent survey by the Bank for International Settlements, followed by the Japanese yen (JPY) and Australian dollar (AUD). The Taiwan Central Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with China in August 2012 that allows direct settlement of payments of Chinese renminbi (RMB) and TWD, which should help Taiwan to expand its position as a regional financial hub and encourage higher trade and investment flows with mainland China.
Taiwan's regulatory authority
Despite territorial claims by the mainland, Taiwan has an independent government and operates as a multi-party democracy. Taiwan has a distinct monetary authority based in Taipei, the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan), which sets Taiwan's monetary policy, monitors the value of the currency and ensures financial stability.
Taiwan Trade & investment flows
Taiwan maintains particularly strong trade links with China and Japan, but it is also expanding its reach. Taiwan signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand in July 2013, its first bilateral agreement with a country with which it does not have diplomatic relations. In November 2013, Taiwan signed another bilateral trade treaty with Singapore.
Taiwan maintains some restrictions for foreign investment, for example, by capping foreign direct investment (FDI) or portfolio investment at various thresholds for high-priority sectors such as telecommunications, utilities and transport. Otherwise, Taiwan’s position as a trade and investment hub in the Asia Pacific region has let it to establish an open foreign exchange and trade environment. Under the two relevant regulatory texts, the Statute for Investment by Foreign Nationals (SIFN) and the Statute for Investment by Overseas Chinese (SIOC), foreign investors are allowed to use either foreign currencies or TWD.
Taiwan's monetary unit, the New Taiwan dollar, uses the currency code TWD and is often abbreviated NT$. The TWD was first issued in 1949 to replace the Old Taiwan dollar at an exchange rate of 40,000 to one TWD, in order end a period of hyperinflation. Coins are minted in values of 50 cents, NT$1, NT$5, NT$10, NT$20 and NT$50. Banknotes are printed in values of NT$100, NT$200, NT$500, NT$1,000 and NT$2,000. Both coins and notes are produced in mainland China.
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