Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan's trade surplus climbs to third-highest level

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Boosted by exports to China and Hong Kong, Taiwan recorded a trade surplus of US$21.29 billion last year, the third-highest level ever, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

Exports last year jumped 12.9 percent from 2005 to US$224 billion and imports rose 11 percent to US$202.71 billion, leading to a trade surplus last year that was 34.6 percent higher than in 2005, Lee Li-shu (李麗雪), director of the ministry's statistics department, said during a press conference yesterday.

Trade with China and Hong Kong continued to grow last year, accounting for 39.8 percent, or US$89.19 billion, of total exports and marking a rise of 26.61 percent over 2001.

Imports of consumer goods last year decreased 2.3 percent year-on-year to US$15.39 billion because of the impact of consumer credit debt.

Imports of capital equipment also shrank by 0.5 percent to US$34.53 billion last year as a result of marginal growth in private investment and a reduction in aircraft and transportation equipment imports.

Last month alone, the nation's export volume reached US$19.58 billion, up 9.1 percent over a year ago, and import volume reached US$16.68 billion, up 16.4 percent.

Looking ahead, Lee was confident that Taiwan's trade would maintain a stable upward trend thanks to the strong demand for semiconductor and electronic products worldwide.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics forecasted that Taiwan would see exports increase by 6.1 percent and imports increase by 6 percent this year with a larger trade surplus of US$21.3 billion.

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