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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Republic of China 1952 Land Tax Reduction (Scott #1046-51)

In 1952, the Republic of China (now known as Taiwan) issued a set celebrating the reduction of the land tax (Scott #1046-51), as well as a special imperforate version of the set (Scott #1046-51Note). 80,000 of the normal, perf. set and 20,000 of the imperf. set were issued, and Scott '12 values them unused at $351.00 and $1,100.- respectively.

Both should do well as the stamp markets in both Chinas continues to develop. Although fewer of the imperforate set were issued, these were generally not used as postage, and it is likely that many of the perf. sets were used as postage and discarded.

Better stamps and souvenir sheets of the R.O.C. have done well over the last few decades, but the market has been cooler than that for stamps of the People's Republic. I believe that as capitalism and incremental democratization take hold in the P.R.C., relations between the "two Chinas" will gradually improve, as will demand for stamps of the R.O.C.. The process of thawing may have already begun: as of 2008, more than $ 150 billion has been invested in the P.R.C. by Taiwanese companies, and about 10% of the Taiwanese labor force works in the P.R.C., often to run their own businesses.

In the meantime, most of the demand for stamps of Taiwan will originate from collectors in Taiwan itself and among overseas Chinese (of which there are approximately 35 million). Taiwan, a nation of 23 million people, is one of the four "Asian Tigers," and has experienced explosive economic growth and industrialization over the last 5 decades. Annual GDP growth has averaged about 4% over the last 5 years, but this reflects the zero growth of 2009, a result of the global financial mess.

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