Tue, Mar 09, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Exports soar 35%, fastest in three and a half years

BLOOMBERG

Exports rose last month at their fastest pace in three-and-a-half years as electronics exporters shipped more semiconductors, flat-panel displays and laptop computers.

Overseas sales jumped 34.6 percent from a yesar earlier to US$13.23 billion after climbing 18 percent in January, the Ministry of Finance said.

That's their biggest gain since September 2000.

"Taiwan's exports are benefiting from the recovery in global demand, especially for high tech products, which make up close to two-fifths of the island's total shipments," Rob Subbaraman, an economist at Lehman Brothers Japan Inc, said in a report last Friday.

Companies such as BenQ Corp (明基電通) and Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) are benefiting as demand picks up in China and Japan, and a strong euro makes their goods cheaper in Europe.

The government predicts exports, which contribute about half of Taiwan's GDP, will grow 10 percent this year.

Exports to China and Hong Kong jumped 62 percent to US$5.1 billion, the ministry said.

Shipments to Europe rose 28 percent to US$1.9 billion and those to Japan climbed 15 percent to US$1 billion. Sales to the US gained 2.8 percent to US$1.9 billion.

Exports of computer chips and other electronic products, which make up the biggest share of Taiwan's overseas sales, rose 55 percent to US$3.1 billion.

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