AmCham Taipei members expect pandemic to end this year: survey

AmCham President William Foreman. (CNA file photo)

TAIPEI (CNA) — A majority of AmCham Taipei voting members expect the COVID-19 pandemic to end by the end of 2020, leading to an economic recovery in the coming 18 months, according to the results of an AmCham survey released Wednesday.

The survey found that 37 percent of its members thought the pandemic would end in the third quarter, while 25 percent predicted it would be over in the fourth quarter.

Asked how confident the companies were in the recovery of Taiwan’s economy in the coming 18 months, 84 percent said they were somewhat or very confident, according to the survey.

Only 4 percent of respondents reported having laid off or furloughed employees during the current crisis, while 63 percent said they had no plans to do so even if the situation worsened, the survey found.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said the pandemic has negatively affected their business, and cited a disruption in travel or events, decreased demand for products or services, and disruption to the supply chain as the three biggest problems.

But the Taiwanese government’s efforts to control the outbreak also earned high marks, with 95 percent of respondents saying they were somewhat or very satisfied with the government’s performance, the chamber said.

“I think no one so far has done a better job than Taiwan with this in almost every respect,” said AmCham President William Foreman, adding that he thought Taiwan’s performance will be a big boost for the country’s international brand.

Still, only 41 percent expressed satisfaction with the government’s economic relief measures, and many of them are hoping to see improvements in areas such as tax benefits, financial aid, and loans to affected industries, the survey found.

The survey, which had a 33 percent response rate, was conducted April 6-10 with 404 of AmCham’s voting members, mostly CEOs and general managers, participating.