On Wednesday Moody's Investors Service affirmed the government of Taiwan's Aa3 long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings, and shifted its outlook from stable to positive. Premier Su Tseng-chang observed at Thursday's Cabinet meeting that the outlook upgrade is the first since Moody's began covering Taiwan in 1994, and represents a great vote of confidence in the nation's governance.
Moody's report highlighted Taiwan's extraordinary fiscal discipline in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and praised the country's effectiveness in rapidly restoring economic normalcy while also successfully negotiating the pressures of the U.S.-China trade conflict, the premier said. The report indicated this performance pointed to stronger governance that beat previous assessments .
Taiwan received high marks in many global performance surveys in 2020, said Premier Su. He cited the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook's ranking of Taiwan as No. 3 among countries with populations above 20 million —a five-year best—as one example. Other record performances include the nation's No. 4 spot in the Asian Corporate Governance Association's CG Watch 2020, and Taiwan's 11th-place spot in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking.
U.S.-based Business Environment Risk Intelligence in its latest report ranked Taiwan the third-best investment destination in the world. In the domain of gender equality, Taiwan in 2019 placed sixth globally based on data used to compile the Gender Inequality Index as published recently by the U.N. Development Programme in its Human Development Report. Both indices also rated Taiwan first in Asia, the premier pointed out.
Confronted with daunting challenges at home and abroad, Taiwan has managed to keep COVID-19 at bay, bolstered the domestic economy, and racked up budget surpluses topping NT$100 billion (US$3.5 billion) a year for the past three years. The premier attributed these successes to the fruitful partnership between the people and the government. He also thanked the Cabinet team and encouraged them to press onward in their important work.