The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) yesterday set a target of 4.3 percent for the nation’s economic growth next year because it expects that better-than-expected growth in private investment to help counter weakening exports amid the global economic slowdown.
The council’s 4.3 percent growth rate, which translates into US$20,649 per capita GDP, was higher than the 4.19 percent forecast made by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) last month.
During a briefing with reporters late yesterday, Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) said the council had considered setting a target range for next year’s economic growth, which would be between 4 -percent and 4.3 percent growth.
However, many members of the council’s policymaking committee, including economists and top-ranking officials from various ministries and agencies, decided to use the high end of the council’s GDP growth forecast as the government’s target growth rate.
“We decided to set a target that will put some pressure on us, instead of a goal that we have a 100 percent chance of achieving,” Liu said.
Liu attributed the higher -economic growth target to the council’s anticipation of increased momentum on private investment next year.
The council would also closely cooperate with the government’s economic stimulus measures to drive up overall growth, she said.
The council also said it was targeting a 4.2 percent unemployment rate next year and was eyeing a consumer price index of less than 2 percent growth, according to the council’s report.
In addition, Liu said various government agencies yesterday reached a consensus on removing investment barriers to raise investor interest in Taiwan, as well as drive up the nation’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business report.
These agencies will each submit a report in March on removing investment barriers, Liu said, adding that each agency would establish an exact timetable for the removal of barriers.
Taiwan ranked 25th out of 183 global economies in an annual business environment survey for next year issued in October, down one notch from last year’s revised results, the council’s data showed.