Long-term economy to remain stable: scholar


TAIPEI–The outcome of Taiwan’s presidential election yesterday may result in some short-term economic fluctuations but will likely have little impact on the economy over the longer term, according to an economist.

Shia Ben-chang, chairman of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Fu Jen Catholic University, said Friday that regardless of who gets elected, Taiwan’s economy is likely to struggle for much of the rest of the year.

The ongoing European debt crisis and declining consumer confidence throughout the greater China area will likely pose problems for Taiwan’s economy this year, said Shia, who was speaking at a conference in Beijing where the consumer confidence indices for China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were released.

Another factor that could affect Taiwan’s economy is whether China’s economy will have a hard landing or soft landing, as it is slowing due to a global economic slowdown.

A hard landing would “definitely have an impact on Taiwan’s economy,” he said.

But Shia did not expect many changes economically over the medium term because Taiwan and China have trade structures that are highly dependent on each other, leaving little room for maneuverability.

Taiwan’s presidential election is a three-way race between President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang, Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and People First Party Chairman James Soong.