TAIPEI — Taiwan’s exports to Europe will be adversely affected by the eurozone’s debt crisis, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Jung-chiou confirmed at a legislative hearing yesterday.
“Based on the growth in export orders and market and product structures, we can now say that the European debt crisis will definitely affect Taiwan’s exports to Europe over the next six months,” he said at a briefing on how enterprises were adjusting their capacity amid a global economic slowdown. Hwang said the debt crisis had not only hurt financial markets but also investment and market confidence around the world, and the resulting economic sluggishness would affect exports, output and unemployment in certain sectors. The official said many vendors in Europe were currently drawing down their inventories, meaning that Taiwanese companies exporting goods to Europe, and especially those in the information and communications technology sector, would feel the pinch. “At least one or two quarters of capacity utilization will be affected,” he said. Hwang said 22 high-tech manufacturers had already decided to encourage their employees to take their paid annual leave, and others were considering the idea. Of the 22, nine are in the semiconductor sector, seven are in the photovoltaic sector, four are computer and electronic parts and components makers, one is in the machine sector and one is a biotechnology business, according to Hwang.