Mon, May 12, 2008 - Page 3 News List

‘Until the very last minute’: Chen

THE LAST MILEThe government may not have control over the rising price of commodity goods, but it will do its utmost to mitigate people’s suffering, Chen said

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) pledged yesterday he would sustain commodity prices before he leaves office next Tuesday.

Despite the rise in global oil prices, Chen said the country’s consumer price index last year was the most stable among Asia’s four tiger economies.

Increasing global oil prices have driven up the prices of food and other commodities, but Taiwan’s consumer price index only rose 1.8 percent last year, Chen said. South Korea registered a 3.6 percent increase, Hong Kong 4.6 percent in Hong Kong and Singapore 6.6 percent, he said.

The government may have little control over rising raw material prices, Chen said, but its efforts to stabilize food and commodity prices have been working, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the impact of rising prices.

As small and medium businesses, the middle and lower class and people living in central and southern regions have borne the brunt of rising inflation, Chen said his administration had made efforts to address their needs.

“Although there is only about a week left before I leave office, the government’s effort to keep commodity prices stable will continue until the very last minute,” he said.

Chen made the remarks yesterday morning in his home town in Tainan County. He visited a biotechnology park and attended the inauguration of a service center for an industrial and environmental park. He also made an appearance at his elementary school to inspect the completion of a new building.

He later attended the inauguration of a nature reserve after visiting his mother. As it was Mother’s Day yesterday, Chen said he did not buy a present for his mother, but thought the best present would be to be with her on this special occasion. Chen said he came back because his mother has not been well the past few days.

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