Creative industries to Taiwan

Trends and opportunities

The market

Creative industries in Taiwan are thriving as a result of increased government support and a growing interest in culture and the arts amongst the people. According to the 2015 Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industries Annual Report, the industry consists of 15 sectors with a total of 62,264 creative industry companies and a combined turnover value of approximately A$34.5 billion.

Taiwan is a democratic, free and diverse society. This openness is instrumental to the development of creative industries and has resulted in a vibrant creative environment that is open to new ideas and influences internationally. Australia enjoys a great reputation for quality of lifestyle and creativity in Taiwan, as Australia has a strong tourism industry and an increasing amount of young Taiwanese choosing to study or complete working holiday programs.
In Taiwan, Austrade’s focus is on assisting Australian companies to capture opportunities in the following creative sectors:

Performing arts

Taiwan has a rich history of performing arts with various types, including traditional Chinese opera and Chinese orchestra, Taiwanese folk performance and puppetry and unique aboriginal cultural performance. In order to cultivate an appetite for domestic culture and the arts amongst locals, the government has built three international standard performing arts venues in Taipei (Taipei Performing Arts Centre – due to open in 2018), Taichung (Taichung National Theatre) and Kaohsiung (Kaohsiung Weiwuyin Center for the Arts – due to open in 2018). The demand for international performances and operational training for these new venues is expected to grow in the coming years.

Visual arts

Taiwan’s presence in the global art market remains significant. Artprice ranked Taiwan’s contemporary art sales as the world’s sixth largest in 2014, valued at €9.9 million, behind Germany (€10.9 million) but comfortably ahead of Singapore (€5 million). Taiwanese collectors are known as sophisticated, affluent and engaged and play a leading role in Asia in the acquisition of contemporary artwork. The extent of interest in art collecting in Taiwan extends beyond Asia, reaching Europe and North America (Source: The Art Newspaper, Art Market, Did Taiwan miss its chance to play in the international art market?).

Publishing

The publishing industry is considered mature, open and competitive. Taiwan has over 10,000 publishing companies, publishing 39,717 new titles in 2015, a decrease of 4.5 per cent from 41,598 in 2014. Taiwan is a major publishing rights market in Asia, especially for American and European best-selling books. The translated books account for approximately 24 per cent of the market in 2015, with 56 per cent accounted for by Japanese-to-Chinese translated books, followed by 21 per cent accounted for by English-to-Chinese translated books from the United States (US) (Source: 2015 Taiwan Publishing Industry Overview, National Central Library, Taiwan).

Opportunities

The demand for performing arts in Taiwan comes mainly from venue programmers and festival organisers. Aside from the popularity of mainstream artists, reputable companies and event organisers are increasingly looking for new, international and unique performances to cater for an increasingly knowledgeable and internationalised audience. New and multidisciplinary works as alternative forms of performance art are beginning to develop an audience in Taiwan, as well as outdoor performances and innovative productions catering for children and family audiences. In addition, opportunities for Australian performing companies to co-produce with domestic Taiwanese companies and firms are expected to grow.

The Australian visual arts sector has niche opportunities in Taiwan, particularly in contemporary video work, photography and painting. Taiwanese collectors are increasingly searching for international artists, with many young collectors keen to acquire new and affordable works both domestically and internationally. The awareness and interest of Australian contemporary and indigenous art in Taiwan has increased steadily through a number of international exhibitions and galleries’ participation in key art fairs, highlighting the innovation and talent of Australian artists.

In the publishing sector, translated literature continues to be popular in Taiwan, especially for translations of film novels. Children’s books, young adult fiction, lifestyle, health and food, motivation and psychology (self-help) also sell well.

Overall, Taiwan is keen to partner with Australia to develop more collaboration opportunities in creative industries:

  • Taiwan’s Performing Arts Alliance has initiated a long-term partnership with Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to form the Asian Producers’ Platform (APP) to create a strong network of Asian producers for sharing information and pursuing collaboration opportunities.
  • Taiwan Art Gallery Association invited Australian Commercial Galleries Association to become a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Art Gallery Alliance (APAGA) to promote regional co-operation, communication, exchange and synergy amongst members of art gallery association in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Ministry of Culture Taiwan and AusHeritage (Australia’s International Cultural Heritage Network) signed a memorandum of understanding to further cooperative relationships in the field of cultural heritage preservation and lead a number of ongoing projects in Taiwan for Australian heritage practitioners.

Competitive environment

In addition to its own indigenous culture, Taiwan’s culture has historically been in many ways heavily influenced by Japanese and American culture. The key competitors for Australian performing arts companies in Taiwan are US-based, British, French and Japanese companies.

Competition is fierce in the visual arts sector, where Asian (and in particular Chinese) artists have greater success, due to greater cultural and linguistic similarity.

In the publishing rights sector, Australia also faces strong competition from Japan, the US, United Kingdom, France and South Korea.

Marketing your products and services

Market entry

It is important to commit to a clear, long-term market strategy and to work closely with local partners in order to successfully enter the Taiwan market.

Austrade has an office in Taipei, where the majority of agents, promoters and presenters are located. Austrade has established strong and diverse networks with key industry players and on request, can help Australian companies enter the market by linking them with local agents and helping to raise the profile of Australian companies, products and services internationally.

Australian performing arts companies are well-regarded at major art festivals in Taiwan, the majority of which are government-funded and organised by commercial event companies through a tender process. It is recommended that interested companies work closely with Austrade in order to stay updated of any upcoming or potential tender opportunities.

Australian companies are encouraged to apply for funding from both federal and state government arts agencies that facilitate and promote performing arts exporters in Taiwan. These grants are usually available for performing artists to travel to overseas markets and perform, helping to reduce the costs of travelling for both artists and organisers. In addition, Australian performing companies may seek other touring opportunities in adjoining markets when planning to visit Taiwan, which may further reduce travel costs and increase agents’ interest and capacity to present the work.

With regards to the visual arts sector, Australian galleries may consider participating at the various art fairs and international exhibitions in Taiwan to build connections with collectors and galleries. There are a number of large-scale well attended art fairs held annually around Taiwan, such as Art Taipei, Young Art Taipei, Art Taichung and Art Kaohsiung.

For Australian publishers, it is recommended to work with a local Taiwanese agent and participate in the annual Taipei International Book Exhibition. One of the most important and largest book fairs in Asia, it offers the opportunity to develop and build on relationships with Taiwanese publishers and editors.

Links and industry contacts

Government, business and trade resources

Fly Global
Ministry of Culture
The National Culture and Arts Foundation
Performance Arts Alliance
Taipei Book Fair Foundation
Taiwan Art Gallery Association

Taiwan festivals and events

Art Taipei 
Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival
National Theater and Concert Hall
Taipei Arts Festival
Taipei Children Art Festival
Taipei International Book Exhibition
Taiwan International Festival of Arts
Young Art Taipei

Performing arts venues

Kaohsiung Wei-Wu-Yin Center for the Arts
National Taichung Theatre
National Theater and Concert Hall

Australian Resources

Australia-China Council
Australia Council for the Arts
Australian Commercial Galleries Association
Australian Performing Arts Market
Australian Publishing Association

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

Contact details

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:

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Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.