The Executive Yuan’s latest project to boost the economy has “missed the point” and looked like a hastily formulated plan that failed to address both short and long-term problems, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
“The real stimulus for Taiwan’s stagnant domestic economy would be the promotion of domestic investment, but the Executive Yuan’s project, which was announced on Tuesday, did not present a solution,” Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), convener of the DPP’s economic strategy task force, told a press conference.
Persistent capital outflow to China, a result of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s pro-China policy, and diminishing foreign investment is the root cause of Taiwan’s economic stagnation, Wu said.
While the Ma administration vowed to join regional economic integration by joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership in eight years and pursuing free-trade agreements with major trade partners, Beijing remains the primary roadblock, he said.
Academia Sinica researcher Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) said the administration either failed to identify the reasons for the slow economy or did not want to face the problem.
The “massive, but fragmented” project has ignored urgent short-term issues, such as the troubled touch panel and DRAM industries, and how to revamp the industrial structure to promote long-term growth as the overseas production rate for Taiwanese industry hits 50.2 percent.
Shih said that the Ma administration has underestimated the importance of the manufacturing sector, which would see significant production output and create job opportunities if it were upgraded and moved up the value chain.
Ma’s use of the “global economic climate” as an excuse has been disappointing, China Affairs Department Director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) said.
Public debt of more than NT$5 trillion (US$168.87 billion) meant the administration was short of policy tools to stimulate the economy, he said, adding that the situation has worsened due to “the tie-up in the cross-strait economy.”
Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), the executive director of the DPP’s Policy Research Committee, said that the Cabinet led by Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) was now a “zombie Cabinet” that has no clue what to do about Taiwan’s economy.
“It is ironic that Chen was a well-respected economist and his Cabinet has always taken pride in its economic expertise, pledging that the administration would ‘enrich the Taiwanese people’ when the Cabinet members were sworn in in February,” he said.