Minister of finance attributes weak exports to global instability, tones down Q4 expectations


TAIPEI–There have been many unstable factors around the world that have affected Taiwan’s exports for the year, said Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) Wednesday, and he cautioned that the traditional peak export season in the fourth quarter would not materialize.

Commenting on the 16.9 percent drop in Taiwan’s exports from a year earlier to US$22.13 billion in November, Chang said there have been many factors affecting the international situation.

He cited as examples the fight against the Islamic State militant group, that have drawn the United States, Russia and Turkey into the turmoil, and plummeting oil prices.

The November figures represented a decline in Taiwan’s exports on an annual basis for the 10th consecutive month.

Asked about the numbers on the sidelines of a legislative hearing, Chang admitted that there would be no peak season for Taiwan’s exports this year.

Meanwhile, in response to questions on a plan by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) to set up a 12-inch wafer plant in China, Chang held a positive view.

TSMC plays a leading role in the chip manufacturing industry, and the proposal is “a good thing” if TSMC can set up a plant in China without the risk of leaking its core technologies, Chang said.

TSMC is the world’s largest contract chip-maker.