Taiwan

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Long before China opened its doors to outsourcing, Taiwan was the closest stop to the mainland. And though China has become a force in and of itself in the field, Taiwan has proven it can hold its own.

Companies such as Parexel International ($PRXL), Chiltern, ScinoPharm and Sigma-Aldrich ($SIAL) have found a home on the island, attracted by tax incentives and a streamlined drug-approval process. A solid healthcare system and impressive R&D market have also helped catapult Taiwan to the fourth slot for pharma outsourcing in Asia, behind China, India and South Korea, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.

The majority of Taiwanese researchers are trained in GCP protocol recognized by the International Conference on Harmonisation. That leads to a level of trust and reliance from foreign regulators looking to gather research from abroad. According to Icon, Taiwan is the second-most active Asian country involved in FDA studies.