Law, foreign direct investment and economic development in Taiwan
This research looks at the legal regime governing foreign direct investment (FDI) in Taiwan, and at the interaction between the Government's economic policies, legal reform and FDI in the economic development of Taiwan. The research for this thesis is focused on the period of 1945 to the present; however, a study of the pre-1945 period is provided as a basis for analysing the post-1945 developments. There are three principal aims of this thesis. First, the thesis is designed to illustrate how the economic success of Taiwan challenges traditional views put forward in development theories and in law and development theories, in particular. Secondly, the thesis considers the role of law in the development process. By examining the evolution and operation of the FDI legal regime in Taiwan in its economic, social, political and historical context, this research suggests that the role of law is as a 'doorkeeper' for a country's development. If consistent with a public-interest-oriented economic policy, an appropriate and wellconsidered legal regime can help a country's development without risking its economic sovereignty. Finally, this thesis examines Taiwan's current FDI regime for its appropriateness. Using international law as a reference-point, a detailed analysis is made of Taiwan's current FDI laws. The thesis suggests that certain of these laws are out of date and that further legal reform is required. The thesis concludes by slightly modifying the developmental model for law and FDI which is put forward in Chapter 1, in order to emphasise the important role of government economic policy in Taiwan's development. It is submitted that the Government's choice of development strategy in each of Taiwan's different development phases has been crucial to Taiwan's success. The thesis also concludes that an appropriate legal regime remains important for a country's development regardless of its development status.