Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - Page 13 News List

ICT’s peak season to boost economy: association chair

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Visitors review new Asus computer products on the opening day of the Computex Taipei trade show at the Taipei World Trade Center yesterday. The fair is to run through Saturday.

Photo: AP

Taipei Computer Association president Tung Tsu-hsien (童子賢) yesterday said he expects the economy to perform better in the second half of this year on the back of the upcoming peak season for the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

Tung, who doubles as Pegatron Corp (和碩) chairman, said recent disappointing economic data stemmed largely from the relatively weak export performance of the ICT industry because of seasonal factors. Exports of ICT products constitute a substantial amount of the nation’s total exports.

“The first and second quarter seem to be slow season, but technology companies are actually busy preparing for the peak season in the second half of the year,” Tung told reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the annual Computex Taipei trade show.

Last year, exports of electronics and ICT products grew 14.56 percent annually to US$113 billion, which shows that the nation’s technologies continue to lead the global ICT industry, Tung said.

However, the government’s business monitoring indicator slipped into the “blue” zone last month, indicating the export-reliant economy is weakening, the National Development Council reported on Wednesday last week.

The nation’s exports fell 11.7 percent annually to US$23.49 billion in April, with overseas shipments in the electronics segment dropping 3.2 percent to US$7.89 billion in April, according to Ministry of Finance data.

Tung said he is optimistic about the economic outlook in the second half of the year, driven by strong sales in the ICT industry as peak season approaches.

“In the long term, I am also confident that Taiwanese tech companies’ investments in cloud-computing and wearable devices will pay off in the next few years,” Tung said.

In related news, the Ministry of Economic Affairs during the opening ceremony said that Taiwan is to deepen cooperation with the US by launching a Taiwan-US Digital Economy Forum in the second half of this year.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin, who jointly announced the cooperation plan at the ceremony, said the forum would include interagency delegations led by senior economic policymakers from Taiwan and the US.

The forum would also invite participants from the government, academia and the private sector to join the discussions, Rivkin said.

“The high-level, multi-stakeholder platform will give us the opportunity to explore ways to strengthen our partnership and coordination on digital trade, innovation and Internet policy issues,” Rivkin said.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭) said National Development Council Minister Woody Duh (杜紫軍) would lead Taiwan’s delegation to join the forum in Taipei later this year.

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