Thu, Jun 07, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Cabinet monitoring eurozone debt crisis: minister

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday instructed Cabinet officials to closely monitor the evolution of the European debt crisis and follow through with short-term and medium-to-long-term strategies to rebalance the economy into one that could adapt to changes in the international economic situation, an official said yesterday.

Minister Without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) and Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) called a press conference last night to brief the media about a meeting presided over by Chen earlier yesterday about the impact of the eurozone debt crisis on Taiwan’s economy.

A decline in the first quarter of this year was partly caused by sluggish global demand amid the eurozone debt crisis, said Kuan, who leads a Cabinet-level task force considering policy responses to the global economic situation.

CONFIDENT

Despite that, Kuan said the Cabinet remains confident of keeping the annual growth at about 3 percent — 3.03 percent, which was recently revised down from the previous forecast of 3.83 percent growth by the government’s statistics agency — unless the eurozone debt crisis degenerates into an even worse situation.

For the moment, the impact of the debt crisis is limited in the industrial sector, but Europe is China’s largest export market and many local businesses use China as a production base for onward export. The impact on the financial sector is minimal because overseas operations of locally owned banks in Europe are limited, Kuan said.

Kuan said the government would pay close attention to the evolving situation in Europe, including France’s parliamentary election on Sunday and June 17, and the general election in Greece on June 17, after which it would be clearer whether Europe would continue with austerity measures or replace them with growth measures.

STRATEGY

The government would continue to implement seven short-term measures and five medium-and-long-term strategies to facilitate an economic recovery, Kuan said.

Some new measures pertaining to the relaxation of rules to attract foreign talent and overseas investments are also being formulated, Kuan said.

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