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Talk of the Day -- Exports to regain momentum in Q2
Central News Agency
2014-01-08 11:17 PM
Taiwan's exports will regain momentum in the second quarter of this year as capital goods imports increased significantly last December and the global economic recovery is back on track, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) forecast optimistically Tuesday. Some local economists, however, said that the global economy is undergoing fundamental changes. If Taiwan fails to catch up with this trend, they warned that Taiwan's export-reliant economy could face tough challenges. The following are excerpts from local media coverage on Taiwan's latest trade developments: Economic Daily News: Weak demand in China and other Asian countries took toll on Taiwan's exports in December, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday. MOF statistics showed that Taiwan posted a 1.9 percent year-on-year export decline in December. Overall, Taiwan's exports rose a marginal 0.7 percent annual increase in 2013. The growth rate was slightly higher than the government-projected 0.4 percent growth. Moreover, the 2013's total export amount of US$303.2 billion was the second highest in history and the annul trade surplus of US$33.1 billion was an all-time high. Yeh Maan-tzwu, director-general of the MOF's Statistics Department, said the export downward trend may continue in January, but is expected to reverse itself in Q2. For one thing, Yeh said, capital goods imports posted a 10.1 percent annual growth in December and a 13.1 percent increase from November. Furthermore, she said, machinery exports amounted to US$1.88 billion in December, the second-highest monthly record, indicating that the global economy is on the track of steady recovery. "All these are encouraging signs that our exports will turn stronger from Q2," Yeh forecast. (Jan. 8, 2014). China Times: Taiwan's exports edged up a mere 0.7 percent in 2013, while neighboring South Korea posted a 2.2 percent annual growth. Liang Kuo-yuan, president of the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute, said Taiwan's lackluster export performance could partly be attributed to sluggish growth in the world economy. But he cautioned that the global economy is undergoing fundamental changes. "We cannot afford to ignore this phenomenon," Liang said. He said South Korea has performed much better than Taiwan in exports mainly because it has outpaced Taiwan in industrial upgrading and adjustment of its economic structure. Basically, he said Taiwan has not proceeded smoothly in industrial upgrading and fostering of new industries. "These setbacks could pose threats to our future economic development," Liang said. Chu Hao-min, a National Chengchi University professor, said Taiwan faces another challenge that should not be ignored -- competition from China. "Taiwanese and Chinese companies used to be complementary, but some of them are competing with each other now," Chu said, adding that Chinese companies are eroding Taiwan's market shares in some areas. "We need to face up squarely to these new challenges," he said. (Jan. 8, 2014). (By Sofia Wu)
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