Fri, Oct 14, 2011 - Page 12 News List

No signs of a pickup for Taiwan: CEPD minister

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) yesterday said Taiwan’s economy has yet to show signs of a pickup next year, in line with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chairman Morris Chang’s (張忠謀) forecast of a global slowdown next year.

Liu said the council had in June told the Cabinet to “closely monitor the potential impact of rising global uncertainties on the domestic economy.”

Unlike the global financial tsunami in 2008 triggered by Lehman Brothers’ collapse, which severely undermined investor and consumer confidence, the current global uncertainties would more likely affect the nation’s exports and imports, Liu said.

Liu reiterated three of the four warning signs she first pointed out last month — slowing exports, export orders and imports — for the nation’s economy until the end of next year.

Taiwan’s exports rose 9.9 percent from a year earlier to US$24.61 billion last month, the third-lowest annual growth since the global financial crisis in 2008, while imports stood at US$22.84 billion last month, up 10.8 percent from a year ago, but down 1.4 percent from a month earlier, the Ministry of Finance reported last week.

The slowing growth momentum was also reflected in export orders, which rose 5.26 percent from a year ago to US$36.71 billion in August, the slowest increase since November 2009, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The government should speed up the pace of relaxing investment regulations, which would then help increase companies’ imports of capital goods, Liu said, citing strong import growth in South Korea as an example.

South Korea’s imports grew 30.5 percent from a year earlier last month, while its exports increased 19.6 percent year-on-year, data showed.

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