Double-digit export growth forecasted

The China Post news staff and CNA

The Board of Foreign Trade (BOFT) said yesterday Taiwan’s exports will register a double-digit growth in 2007, dismissing forecast by a local think tank saying the island’s exports will only grow by 7.41 percent. “That figure is a little conservative,” said officials of BOFT, which falls under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. BOFT officials made the prediction after Chung-Hwa Institution for Economic Research forecasted that Taiwan’s exports and imports will register a growth of 7.41 percent and 6.43 percent, respectively, this year.

Exports this year will total US$240.62 billion, while imports will amount to US$215.75 billion. The trade surplus will increase to US$24.87 billion this year from US$21.31 billion last year, according to the think tank.

But the BOFT disagreed with that forecast. BOFT officials said that Taiwan’s exports in the second half of the year have always fared better than in the first half. This, coupled with the Executive Yuan’s export stimulus program, will benefit Taiwan’s manufacturers and ensure a double-digit growth, they said. The board further said China’s continued economic growth and the U.S.’ slow yet steady economic recovery will contribute positively to Taiwan’s economy, adding the government is expected to announce more economic incentives in the run-up to the presidential election in March next year. Overall, bureau officials said Taiwan’s total trade would drop slightly compared to last year as the subprime woes in the United States and surging oil prices have devastated the global economy. Yet trade surplus is expected to increase for the year, they said.