Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) The number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan reached an all-time high of 1.38 million last year, accounting for 97.69 percent of the total firms nationwide and up 2.29 percent from 2014, according to the latest White Paper on SMEs released Tuesday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Meanwhile, a total of 98,320 new SMEs were established in 2015, up 4.43 percent from 2014, mainly wholesale and retail businesses such as online clothing and electronics product vendors, the white paper shows.
In addition, the number of employees at SMEs, the mainstay of Taiwan's industrial structure, stood at 8.76 million last year, accounting for 78.22 percent of the overall employment, up from 1.04 percent from 2014, according to the white paper.
Economics officials attributed the increase in the number of SMEs to the government's efforts to promote innovative start-ups in recent years and the integration of the traditional bricks-and-mortar business and virtual business models that makes starting up businesses easier.
However, SME sales totaled NT$11.80 trillion (US$372.59 billion) last year, down from NT$11.84 trillion in 2014, the white paper shows.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Evelyn Kao)ENDITEM/J