Thursday, March 13, 2014
In 1962, the Republic of China issued a souvenir sheet commemorating the 15th Anniversary of UNICEF (Scott #1341a). 100,000 sheets were issued, and Scott '14 prices them unused at $16.00.
I continue to like the U.N. as a topic, long-term. The market for U.N.-related topicals should grow over the very long haul as institutions of world government develop in order to take on serious (and possibly existential) problems which can only be coped with globally. Despite the present inadequacy, corruption, and ineffectiveness of the U.N., I view its reform and gradual strengthening as a gradual but irresistible trend.
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 was invested in the P.R.C. by Taiwanese companies. 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 just under 4% over the last 5 years, but this partly reflects a contraction of 2% in 2009, a result of the global financial mess.
Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are encouraged to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.