Cabinet reviews pilot zones
Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) yesterday said that the Cabinet is reviewing the draft regulations for setting up free economic pilot zones and is expected to submit the reviewed draft to the legislature by the end of the year. The council was originally meant to send the draft to the Cabinet by the middle of last month, but the submission was delayed. Meanwhile, Kuan said the nation’s GDP would grow at least 2 percent this year, although it is unlikely that economic growth will reach either the 4 percent target the minister set earlier this year, or the 3.8 percent target set by the council in January.
Machine tool exports fall
Taiwan’s machine tool exports totaled US$2.63 billion in the first nine months of the year, down 19.1 percent from the same period a year ago, said Carl Huang (黃建中), secretary-general of the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association, citing preliminary government statistics. During the first nine months of the year, the US saw the sharpest decline — 25.6 percent — among all export destinations, the data showed. Exports to the US amounted to US$291.56 million over the period. Exports to China, which made up 34.2 percent of the total amount, also fell greatly during the first nine months, contracting 23 percent to US$899.58 million over the period, according to the statistics.