Economics minister confident of 4.3 percent growth for 2012


TAIPEI–Economics Minister Shih Yen-hsiang said yesterday that there should be no problem in achieving economic growth of 4.3 percent next year despite the impact of the European debt crisis on Taiwan’s economy.

Speaking at a year-end news conference, Shih also said that the ministry has”no right to be pessimistic, but only the responsibility to make further efforts” amid the stark global economic situation.

The ministry will strive to create more export opportunities, promote investment and boost domestic consumption, Shih said. Faced with the current global economic slowdown, the chances of economic uncertainty have risen, Shih said.

Despite the European debt crisis, the lower economic growth than original forecast in the United States, and the tightening of China’s monetary policy, he said, however, emerging markets have maintained their momentum of growth and the ministry will step up efforts in tapping into these markets next year. Shih went on to divide Taiwan’s export markets into three groups: Europe, the United States and Japan; China; and newly emerging markets.

Shih said Japan’s economy should be better next year than it was this year given the continuing reconstruction work in the wake of the March 11 earthquake. While Europe has yet to turn the corner, the United States will start to focus on exports and manufacturing industries, and its economy should be substantially improved next year, he pointed out, adding that the domestic market in China should expand further next year too. He noted that the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) had put the export growth for next year at 5.93 percent, but added that the ministry will strive to achieve an even better growth between 8 and 10 percent in 2012.

The goal for attracting private investment is set at NT$1.1 trillion, the same as this year on the back of a better investment environment, resource integration and foreign investment solicitation, Shih said.