Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Don't rely on China, lawmaker warns


An opposition lawmaker urged the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday to rein in the nation's increasing dependence in China for its export growth.

Legislator Christina Liu (劉憶如) of the People First Party said Taiwan's exports to the US, Japan and Europe have continued to decline in recent years while its exports to China have risen at a rapid rate.

Quoting MOEA tallies, Liu said Taiwan's exports to the US, Japan and Europe dropped 3.5 percent, 6.8 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, last year on a year-on-year basis.

In the first eight months of this year, exports to the US fell 5 percent from the same period last year, while sales to Japan also declined 3.8 percent.

In contrast, Liu said, Taiwan's exports to China, including sales to Hong Kong, registered 96 percent growth last year as compared with the year-earlier level.

Thanks to the huge gain in exports to China, Liu said Taiwan managed to register positive growth in its overall exports last year.

"This phenomenon is worrisome because the mainland Chinese economy faces a host of problems and risks, including the exchange rate of the Chinese currency, the huge non-performing loans by mainland banks and the uncertainty regarding whether the mainland economy can withstand the opening of its financial market in 2006 as it promised in its World Trade Organization entry protocol," Liu said.

Liu said the MOEA should work out effective measures to diversify Taiwan's export market and reduce its reliance on the Chinese market.

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