President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said his government has started implementing plans he believes will enable Taiwan to regain its once-great economic power.
The president told an international economic forum that in order to generate economic momentum, the government is carrying out plans to improve the business environment, solidify the nation’s core advantages and promote regional economic cooperation.
Taiwan must push through brave reforms that will keep the country moving amid the global economic slowdown and fiscal crises in the US and Europe, Ma said as he addressed the opening ceremony of the 2013 CommonWealth Economic Forum in Taipei. The two-day event was organized by CommonWealth Magazine.
Faced with stagnant global economic growth and a remapping of world industrial production, “Taiwan needs to make efforts to keep its footsteps steady,” Ma said.
Initiating far-reaching reforms will help the nation’s economy gain momentum and re-energize itself, he said.
Ma said the economic gloom caused by the eurozone’s debt crisis and the slow pace of economic recovery in the US pose extremely big challenges for the nation’s economy, which relies heavily on exports.
Last year, Taiwan’s economy experienced a slowdown, with some industries reporting moderate recession, the president said, warning against excessive optimism about this year’s prospects despite the gradual recovery that has been widely forecast for the fourth quarter.
In the wake of the 2008 and 2009 global financial crisis, many international enterprises changed their global deployment, Ma said, adding that one of the most obvious changes was companies “moving overseas production back home.”
These companies took this step to increase employment and boost the economies in their own countries, he said, adding that such a change may have hurt the economies of many Asian countries.
However, those changes will not shake the long-standing trend that “Asia’s role in the global economic system has been constantly expanding,” he added.
In such a challenging era, Taiwan should play a more active role as a regional industrial hub, he said.
Also speaking at the opening of the forum was Diane Ying (殷允芃), founder and chairwoman of CommonWealth Magazine. Ying called for Asian countries to forge stronger multilateral ties and further economic cooperation.
At a time when the US and European economies are mired in debt, now is the time for Asia to step up and bolster the global economy, she said at the forum, which is regarded as one of the most important annual events in the region.