The government is expected this week to outline measures to help stimulate trade with key partners after Taiwan’s exports shrank in the first four months of this year from a year earlier.
On Saturday, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) convened an inter-ministerial meeting with academics and business representatives to address the decline in the nation’s exports to major markets.
At the meeting, Shih gave officials from the Bureau of Foreign Trade and the Industrial Development Bureau one week to outline proposals that could help boost total trade volume.
Shih said the government would accelerate trade talks between Taiwan and China as stipulated in the controversial Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010.
In addition, the government would offer help to those industries that assure the nation’s long-term competitiveness and would stabilize the currency exchange rate, while also expanding purchases from foreign buyers, Shih said.
From January to last month, exports fell 4.7 percent from last year to US$96.37 billion, while imports fell 3.8 percent to US$90.02 billion, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Taiwan’s exports to China and Hong Kong suffered the biggest contraction, falling US$4.23 billion or 10.2 percent compared with the same period last year, it said.
Officials said this decline accounted for 90 percent of the annual loss of US$4.71 billion in Taiwan’s total exports during the first four months.
Outbound shipments to the US, Japan and Europe declined 9.7 percent, 7.8 percent and 4.2 percent respectively from one year earlier, data from the ministry showed.