The China Post staff
With the global economic slowdown and local academic institutions predicting a decrease in the island’s growth rate, vice premier Lai In-jaw said that the government’s primary objective is to improve the investment environment on the island. The Chunghua Institution of Economic Research announced yesterday its adjustment for this year’s growth rate, down to 4.57 percent from last year’s estimates of 5.74 percent.
At yesterday’s member meeting of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Lai said, “the government is making efforts to expand public investment and improve the investment environment, with the NT$810 billion plan to energize the economy offered by the Cabinet hopefully being executed before the end of the year. He pointed out that Taiwan is an export-oriented country, which is naturally impacted by the global downturn. He quoted the World Bank’s statistics as saying that American economic growth is expected to drop sharply to 1.2 percent this year from last year’s 5.1 percent, and the Japanese economy currently has no sign of upturn. According to figures and indexes released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), there are downbeat sentiments in the production industry, business turnover, export orders, as well as the unemployment rate which rose to a record high of 3.73 percent. It is expected that this year’s growth rate can not reach the level of 5 percent.