Fri, Mar 14, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Short war would have little impact: official

CNA , TAIPEI

Vice Premier and Council for Economic Planning and Development Chairman Lin Hsin-i (林信義) said yesterday that the impact of a short war between the US and Iraq on the domestic economy would be limited.

At a legislative question-and-answer session, Lin said that a war lasting from three to six weeks would have no major impact on Taiwan's exports and imports.

Lin said that a prolonged military conflict would hamper outbound shipments.

Lin also made it clear that Taiwan will support the US and its campaign against terrorism should war break out.

Responding to a question about a domestic steel shortage raised by PFP caucus whip Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和), Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Ruey-long (陳瑞隆) said government agencies, including the one in charge of raw materials and major products, have set up task forces to tackle the possible consequences of a war.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has also asked China Steel Corp (CSC) -- Taiwan's leading supplier of steel materials -- to satisfy domestic demand before exporting its products, Chen said, adding that demand for steel might surge in the international market in the post-war construction period.

In the face of rising international prices for steel goods and the many disgruntled mid- and downstream steelmakers at home, Chen said the ministry has crafted measures to secure supplies for the domestic market by preventing CSC-contracted wholesalers from exporting unprocessed raw materials.

PFP lawmakers said earlier the same day that various CSC mid-stream suppliers have exported unprocessed raw materials and hiked prices, making it difficult for local downstream businesses to buy steel at reasonable prices.

Hsieh Chang-chieh (謝章捷) demanded that the Fair Trade Commission investigate and seriously punish illegal practices such as hoarding and monopolization attempts.

"Law-enforcement authorities should intervene to ensure a balanced demand and supply at reasonable prices," Hsieh argued.

This story has been viewed 3701 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top