The nation’s poor economic and trade performance in the first half of the year is a warning that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should stop “putting all eggs in one basket” and change his China-dependent economic policy, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.
Exports last month contracted for a fourth consecutive month from a year ago, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Finance on Monday, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told a press conference.
With cumulative exports in the first half of the year dropping 4.7 percent from a year ago, Taiwan fared much worse than China, which saw exports rise 8.7 percent, while the US, Japan and Singapore recorded increases of 7 percent, 5.8 percent and 4.1 percent respectively, she said.
Taiwan checked in at second to bottom in a global ranking of foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, with FDI dropping by US$1.96 billion from 2010, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, she added.
“Didn’t Ma tell us that Taiwanese exports and foreign investments would increase after signing the ECFA [Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement] with China? Didn’t he tell us that free-trade agreements with other trade partners would follow after the ECFA?” she asked.
Those poor trade numbers are the result of Ma’s wrong policies, Chen said.
While the global economy has been slow in recovering, “it does not make sense that Taiwan would fare so poorly in its trade when almost everyone else is registering healthy numbers,” DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.
“Even a Ministry of Economic Affairs official admitted that it is risky for Taiwan to have more than 38 percent of its investment in China and Hong Kong. It is a slap in the face of Ma,” Lee said.
Lee urged Ma to adjust his China-centric policy and shift the focus to other regions in the world.