The National Development Council (NDC) yesterday said that it is cautiously optimistic about the 3.2 percent GDP growth target that it has set for this year, given that there were signs last quarter that the nation’s private consumption is improving.
According to the latest report by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), private consumption grew 3.25 percent last quarter to post the highest level of growth since the fourth quarter of 2011.
That figure was higher than its previous estimate of 1.24 percent, the DGBAS said.
“Rising private consumption indicates that Taiwanese are feeling more optimistic about the future,” NDC Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said yesterday.
Kuan added that he expcts the rising momentum of growth in private consumption to be sustained throughout the year.
Exports are also expected to benefit from the improving global economy this year, the minister said.
“If the global economy’s rate of growth rises by between 0.7 and 0.9 percent as estimated by research institutes around the world, it will constitute a significant improvement for the world’s financial situation,” Kuan said.
However, he warned that despite these positive developments, Taiwan still has to change its strategy for promoting exports.
Taiwan should shift its focus to exporting end products to move away from being heavily dependent on the exportation of intermediate goods, Kuan said.
Meanwhile, the council will also bid to improve Taiwan’s export strategy by enhancing the nation’s ability to conduct online trade promotions in multiple languages, the minister added.
Taiwan diffuses the effectiveness of its resources and workforce in promoting trade, by deploying them in too many locations, Kuan said.
To resolve this, the council will propose concentrating those resources at a smaller number of international trade hubs, he added.
The council is slated to present its report on its revamped strategy for boosting exports to the Cabinet today.
If the council’s proposal is accepted, other government departments will table more detailed plans to execute the proposal in June or July, Kuan said.
The council is also working on increasing the nation’s service exports to boost the economy.
“We are brainstorming whether we can help other countries build industrial zones, which is an idea that Indonesia or Myanmar may be interested in,” Kuan said.