Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Ma confirms economic brainstorming session

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) confirmed yesterday that Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) would lead Cabinet officials to discuss solutions to the economic recession tomorrow.

“We will conduct a comprehensive review of economic policies according to the latest economic situation and seek to shorten the length of the recession,” Ma said yesterday during the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) legislative and administrative affairs forum at party headquarters.

Ma called on the Cabinet meet him at the Presidential Office tomorrow morning to discuss the nation’s dismal economic figures and present solutions after the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) released its latest economic data on Wednesday.

The nation’s GDP shrank by 8.36 percent in the fourth quarter on a bigger-than-expected decline in exports that prompted the private sector to halt or delay investment, the data showed.

Ma continued to defend the government’s economic policies and blamed the nation’s deep economic recession on the global financial crisis. Besides drafting new solutions, Ma said the nation’s economic outlook would continue to depend on the economic performance of major economies including the US and the EU, as Taiwan’s economy relies heavily on exports.

In response to KMT Legislator Pan Wei-kang’s (潘維剛) suggestion that the government change the title of National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall back to Chiang Kai-shek (CKS) Memorial Hall within a month, Ma said his administration would not make any changes until a public consensus was sought.

“People have different opinions regarding the hall and we want to seek more public consensus ... This issue should be addressed more delicately and we will handle it according to the law and social consensus,” Ma said, adding that he and Liu would discuss the issue on Sunday.

In 2007, the Democratic Progressive Party government renamed the memorial as part of its efforts to remove monuments and rename places that commemorated dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

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