State-owned Export-Import Bank (EXIM, 中國輸出入銀行) said yesterday it helped broker NT$2.102 billion (US$62.1 million) in export credit loans in the first quarter, up 144.57 percent from a year ago, helping exporters weather the economic slump.
EXIM chairman Lee Sheng-yen (李勝彥) said the bank processed 167 financing cases in the first three months after the Cabinet announced its project to help boost exports. Outbound shipments have contracted amid the world recession, which started in the second half of last year.
The Cabinet approved an NT$8.53 billion (US$258.7 million) measure called the New Zheng He Plan (新鄭和計畫) in December to assist Taiwanese suppliers and manufacturers producing goods for export, with the aim of attracting NT$540 billion in export orders a year.
While the government project aims to direct Taiwanese exports and manufacturers to emerging markets beyond China, exporters have complained about drying orders following the global financial crisis.
Lee said EXIM managed to increase its business partners from 33 to 41 banks in 18 different nations with credit expanding to US$245 million, a 92 percent growth, from the end of last year. Foreign sales contracted 41.9 percent in December and deteriorated 44.1 percent in January. The decline slowed to 28.6 percent in February.
Lee said EXIM, with a paid-in capital of NT$12 billion, is devoted to facilitating export and import trade by offering export credit insurance, re-lending and other financing facilities.