Wed, Jan 12, 2011 - Page 12 News List

BOFT targets 10 percent exports growth

CUTTING DEPENDENCE:The government is hoping to expand export markets, rather than depending on a single market, by focusing mainly on developing economies

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) yesterday said it is targeting at least 10 percent growth in exports this year to exceed US$300 billion by stepping up efforts to boost exports, especially in 11 key markets.

The bureau, which is under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, hopes to tap multiple markets to expand Taiwan’s exports and to cut dependence on a single market, BOFT Director-General Bill Cho (卓士昭) told reporters.

The 11 key markets are Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, South Africa and the Middle East.

While an average of 10 percent growth has been set, the bureau intends to boost exports to China by 16 percent and to Vietnam, South Africa, India and Brazil by at least 15 percent, Cho said.

The target, however, is considered more conservative than last year, when former director-general Huang Chih-peng (黃志鵬) vowed to achieve 20 percent growth for 10 key markets and a 15 percent growth for Taiwan’s overall exports.

Taiwan reported a record US$274.6 billion in exports last year, a rise of 34.8 percent from 2009, on the back of global -economic recovery and strong demand for Taiwanese electronics.

Singling out the first 11 months of last year, the bureau said exports grew 36.6 percent, stronger than Japan’s 33.9 percent, China’s 33 percent and Singapore’s 31.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the bureau said talks to sign a possible free-trade agreement (FTA) with the EU are ongoing.

“South Korea’s FTAs with the EU and with the US that take effect in the second half will impact Taiwan’s competitiveness,” Cho said, adding that the bureau would beef up efforts in lobbying EU officials in signing an FTA with Taiwan.

The bureau has also updated information on Taiwan’s investment environment to reflect its appeal after the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

Taiwan and South Korea have been competing intensely in the electronics sector in areas such as semiconductors and LCD panels. South Korean companies would enjoy the upper hand by selling their products in the US or EU as the FTAs will cut trade tariffs.

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