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Institute predicts 5% growth in local ICT output

TAIPEI--The output of Taiwan's information and communications technology (ICT) industry looks primed to continue its leading role in the manufacturing sector in 2014, a government-backed research center said Wednesday.

The Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) gave a rosy forecast of ICT sector output for this year at NT$5.87 trillion (US$193.89 billion), up 4.98 percent from the NT$5.6 billion recorded in 2013.

The projected growth outpaces growth in the manufacturing sector as a whole, which the IEK forecast at 3.17 percent for 2014.

The center credited increasing popularity in hand-held and wearable devices and tablet computers for driving the ICT sector amid a warming global economy.

Though modest by comparison, Taiwan's other manufacturing industries are predicted to see positive growth over the year.

IEK put output growth in the chemical industry at 3.14 percent to NT$5.27 trillion, in the commodity industry at 1.93 percent to NT$2 trillion, and in the metals and electronics sector at 1.65 percent to NT$4.6 trillion.

Cheng Chih-chiang, a manager at the research center, told CNA a day earlier that Taiwan's economy is likely to experience a slow but steady recovery in 2014.

Despite a generally optimistic outlook, Cheng nevertheless urged the government to encourage industrial transformation and restructuring while balancing Taiwan's development instead of concentrating solely on the information and communications technology sector.

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