Sun, Oct 19, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Premier Liu calls for shoppers to boost economy

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) went on a shopping spree in Taipei City yesterday afternoon in an attempt to encourage consumer spending to help boost the domestic economy.

Liu spent some NT$13,000 on the trip, which took him to the Pin-chiang Market and Sogo Department Store.

The premier’s move came on the heels of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) highly publicized visit to a local market and his NT$5,000 purchase of two pairs of sneakers on Wednesday with the express aim of setting an example for Taiwan consumers to head out and shop.

At the Pin-chiang Market, Liu bought a variety of locally grown fruits, including papayas, grapefruit, persimmons and dragon fruit, saying that “Taiwan-grown dragon fruit is the sweetest.”

Liu then headed to Sogo Department Store, where he purchased three shirts for more than NT$6,000 as well as a new DVD player for NT$1,490. He said he decided to make the purchase after his wife had told him earlier the same morning that their old player was on the fritz.

‘BRILLIANT’

Liu also purchased a few CDs to round out his shopping trip, including one by folk singer Kimbo, another by pianist Li Yun-di (李雲迪) and one by pop singer Jay Chou (周杰倫), who he called “a brilliant musician.”

Liu told reporters after his shopping spree that he randomly chose the market and department store and that most of the products he purchased were made in Taiwan. He expressed the hope that his gesture would be helpful in boosting sales for domestic businesses.

MUSEUM TRIP

Yesterday afternoon, Cabinet officials led by Liu and Vice Premier Paul Chiu (邱正雄) took a trip to the National Palace Museum, followed by shopping in the museum’s souvenir shop.

Liu bought a colored glaze decoration and a stamp pad, while other Cabinet members including Council of Labor Affairs Minister Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄), Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德), Council of Agriculture Chairman Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) and Cultural Affairs Chairwoman Huang Pi-twan (黃碧端) all bought items at the shop.

“[Shopping] is a good policy. As a member of the Cabinet, I will go shopping some other day. There is always something we need,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊).

At a separate setting yesterday, Ma again encouraged the public to spend more money buying goods to boost the local economy.

“We should all spend more money buying things to revitalize the market economy,” Ma said yesterday when meeting local residents in Taoyuan County.

“Rather than losing all your money in investments, it’s better to spend it consuming goods,” he said.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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