MOEA reviews export strategies as exports decline


TAIPEI — The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has been reviewing the country’s export strategies amid declining exports and concerns over Taiwan’s economic outlook, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said yesterday. “It’s a warning for us that Taiwan’s exports did not perform well during the first half of 2012,” Shih said on the sidelines of a monthly meeting aimed at promoting exports and investment. The ministry has been reviewing both the country’s short-term and long-term export strategies, Shih said.

Most of Taiwan’s exports are intermediate goods, not end products, and, as a result, they are more likely to be affected by swings in the global economy, he explained. In addition, a high percentage of the export orders Taiwan gets are produced overseas, hurting the export numbers, Shih said. The minister stressed, however, that the government will continue its effort to “boost exports, promote consumption and attract investment” despite the gloomy global economy. Taiwan’s exports totaled US$24.36 billion in June, down 6.6 percent from May and down 3.2 percent from June 2011, marking the fourth consecutive monthly decline, according to ministry statistics. The ministry launched a NT$3.16 billion program in late May that hopes to counter the negative export growth in the short term by creating opportunities that could generate US$2.12 billion in additional exports this year. The program includes expanding financial support for local small- and medium-sized businesses, inviting more foreign buyers to visit Taiwan and holding online procurement meetings. Separately, new private investment in Taiwan for June reached NT$136 billion, up from NT$75.2 billion recorded in May, according to statistics released yesterday by the ministry. The MOEA said the significant increase in new private investment last month reflected several large-scale investment plans by the local high-tech and retail sectors.

In June, Hiwin Technologies Corp., one of Taiwan’s leading machine tool suppliers, began to invest NT$28 billion in production capacity expansion, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chip maker, announced that it will put NT$12.2 billion into production equipment purchases.

In addition, Far Eastern Department Stores Ltd. has invested around NT$6 billion to build a shopping mall in New Taipei, while Siliconware Precision Industries Co., a major integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider, is injecting NT$5 billion to upgrade its production facilities.

In the first six months of this year, private investment totaled NT$698 billion in 1,204 projects, accounting for about 63.46 percent of a goal of NT$1.1 trillion for 2012 set by the government to attract new investment from the private sector, according to the statistics.