By Camaron Kao ,The China Post
Vice Director of the Department of Statistics under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Tsai Mei-na (蔡美娜) yesterday predicted that export orders for 2012 will see quarter-on-quarter increases.
Tsai said the forecast was based on a survey of the expectations of firms in Taiwan. In 2011, export order value decreased from the first quarter, but the MOEA is cautiously optimistic about the nation’s economic prospects, the vice director said. Export order value in March was NT$1.15 trillion (US$38.37 billion), the second highest in history. The value was 1.58-percent lower than that of last March, which saw Taiwan’s highest ever export order value. The value of information communication technology (ICT) exports saw a year-on-year decrease in March of NT$18.9 billion, or 6.39 percent.
ASEAN Order Value Increases Rapidly Regionally, the value of orders from six countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) increased by 9.69 percent — the largest rise among all regions – and hit a new record high of NT$334.5 billion. The ASEAN members replaced Japan as the 5th-largest importer of Taiwanese products over sixth consecutive months. The order value of ICT products, oil products and machinery to ASEAN saw particularly healthy gains. Meanwhile, the percentage of orders from Japan in the first quarter was 9.4 percent, the lowest since 1984, with a 20-percent year-on-year drop in orders of ICT products and a 12-percent drop in orders of electronics. China was the biggest importer of Taiwanese products in March, purchasing orders totaling NT$299.1 billion, the third highest in history. The order value of ICT products to China increased by NT$31.5 billion, or 32 percent, year-on-year, h while the order value of other products decreased. The U.S. was Taiwan’s second largest importer last month. U.S. orders also reached a new height of NT$273.6 billion, indicating rising consumer confidence on the back of quantitative easing policies and a lower unemployment rate, according to Tsai. Taiwan’s third-largest partner in March was Europe, but European orders decreased by 9.26 percent compared with that of last March. The order value of ICT products fell by NT$15.9 billion, or 16 percent. High unemployment rates and the austerity measures taken by many countries are likely to blame for the decreases, said Tsai.