Think tank forecasts bland GDP growth for Taiwan this year
Central News Agency
2014-02-06 10:31 PM
Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) The Taiwan Competitiveness Forum on Thursday forecast economic growth of 2.5 percent at best this year on poor government efficiency caused in part by populism and legislative interference. Bert Lim, president of the World Economics Society and a member of the think tank, said Taiwan must shift away from its over-reliance on China and Asia markets and "resume" its policy of the 1980s that focused on Western markets, particularly North America. The economist explained that Taiwan needs to make the West a priority because of a global trend of "gradual warming in Western economies and gradual cooling in Eastern economies." Lim was referring to the increasing speed with which Western economies are growing even as emerging countries encounter growth pressure. The government needs to stimulate the private sector with a well-planned set of measures to break through the economic doldrum, he said. Lim made his forecast during a press conference held by the forum to talk about its vision of the Year of the Horse, which began on the last day of January. Hsieh Ming-hui, CEO of the Competitiveness Forum, also offered a forecast about the possible results of the year-end seven-in-one local government elections. Unlike most predictions, Hsieh's would lift the hearts of ruling party supporters, as he predicted the Kuomintang (KMT) will take four out of six mayoral contests of the country's special municipalities. Hsieh said Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, widely considered to be at odds with party chairman and the country's president, Ma Ying-jeou, will manage to snatch a critical victory for the KMT in central Taiwan to retain momentum leading into the 2016 presidential race. Hu and Ma are "in the same boat" and will work hand-in-hand not out of their own accords but out of necessity, Hsieh predicted. He also predicted KMT wins in Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan, the last of which will be upgraded from a county to a municipality at the end of the year. The Taiwan Competitiveness Forum is a research and educational institution founded in 2007 to formulate and promote civil society in Taiwan and compile the Taiwan Better Life Index. The Forum has built partnerships with the government, scholars, NGOs, and private citizens to push for good policy as a means to strengthen the country's competitiveness. (By S.C. Chang)
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