President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday the government would be extra cautious in dealing with the European debt crisis and take measures to stabilize the financial situation over the next four years.
Premier-designate Sean Chen (陳冲), who assumed office yesterday, has a profound understanding of the European debt crisis and its possible impact, and the new Cabinet will present measures to stabilize the economy, Ma said.
“The [European] import market will definitely suffer a decline if the situation in Europe continues to deteriorate, and both Taiwan and China will be affected. We cannot afford to take anything for granted,” he said during a meeting of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee at KMT headquarters.
The committee yesterday discussed the possible impact of the European debt crisis on the global economy. Reviving the economy was one of Ma’s major campaign policies in his re-election bid, and the appointment of Chen, an expert in the financial field who handled the 2008 financial crisis, reflected his ambition to focus on economic issues in his second term.
Government statistics showed that the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.03 percent last year, and the nation’s GDP is expected to grow at a slower pace of 3.91 percent this year, as exports are predicted to fall as demand from developed countries for locally made electronic products shrinks.
Ma said it was possible that the economy would enter a recession this year, but added that the economic situation would improve after the first quarter, in accordance with the estimation of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.
The Executive Yuan set up a task force in December last year that has presented seven strategies to address the economic situation, and the new Cabinet will also be well-prepared if it is faced with a global recession, Ma said.