Business leaders optimistic on '13 economic prospects
CNATAIPEI -- Two local business leaders expressed optimism yesterday over the prospects for Taiwan's economy in 2013 after it suffered through a sluggish 2012 hurt by weakness in global economic fundamentals.
January 2, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
On the sidelines of the flag-raising ceremony held in front of the Presidential Office, Chang Pen-tsao, the chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, said he expected Taiwan's economy to improve quarter by quarter as global economic uncertainty fades.
Hsu Sheng-hsiung, the chairman of Taiwan's Chinese National Federation of Industries, said while attending the ceremony that he also believed Taiwan's economy will fare better in 2013.
The two business leaders agreed with President Ma Ying-jeou's expectations for a prosperous 2013.
After the flag-raising ceremony, Ma in his New Year's Day address expressed strong confidence in Taiwan's global competitiveness and said the wisdom of Taiwan's people would continue to build the strength of the domestic economy.
The two business leaders' views on Taiwan's economy echoed a government forecast in November that projected Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to stage a rebound in 2013 on the back of growing global demand, in particular for high-tech gadgets.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) raised its projection for Taiwan's GDP growth in 2013 to 3.15 percent from an earlier estimate of 3.09 percent.
The statistics agency also raised its forecast for 2012 growth to 1.13 percent from a previous 1.05 percent on hopes that increased exports and investment were lending support to the domestic economy in the fourth quarter.
The DGBAS said merchandise exports for 2013 are expected to grow 5.11 percent from a year earlier, compared with an estimated 2.16-percent decline in 2012. Real fixed capital formation is expected to grow 3.01 percent in 2013, after an estimated 2.77-percent contraction in 2012.
Several economic think tanks also have given more upbeat forecasts for the economy in 2013.
Among them, Academia Sinica, the top research institution in Taiwan, is expecting the local economy to grow 3.05 percent this year as the global economy stabilizes, but it cut its growth forecast for 2012 to 0.93 percent from an earlier 1.94 percent.