Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Minister forecasts 4.5% GDP growth


Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) yesterday painted a rosy picture for Taiwan's economy this year, saying that the nation should be able to accomplish its goal of 4.5 percent economic growth.

She also said she does not believe that the economic growth last year was only 3.8 percent, saying that there is a chance of it reaching 4 percent with the economy's strong performance in the fourth quarter.

During an interview with CNA, Ho said that Taiwan's mainstay industries such as thin-film transistor liquid crystal display, integrated circuits, steel and petrochemicals will perform favorably this year.

After new 12-inch wafer factories are completed this and next year, more investments in the IC industry can be expected if there is a breakthrough in the development of next-generation technology. Meanwhile, the TFT-LCD industry will see a continued outpouring of investments, reaching nearly NT$900 billion (US$28.12 billion) this year.

The TFT-LCD and IC industries will serve as the main engines driving Taiwan's economic growth over the next three to five years, Ho said.

Bucking widespread public opinion that Taiwan's economy is in a bad shape, Ho said that the biggest problem lies with the Taiwanese public's "lack of faith in themselves."

As Taiwan has only limited resources and cannot pursue multiple goals simultaneously, businesses should leave their core competitive edge in Taiwan while seeking cooperation with other countries in other aspects, she said.

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