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July 27, 2017

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Government falling short on promotion of economic strategies

The National Conference on Economic and Trade Affairs held by the Cabinet recently came to a close, and as usual, opening up the local economy, launching the Free Economic Pilot Zones and signing cross-strait trade pacts were championed by the officials present.

While the three-day conference was attended by a number of ministers and ranking officials, such as Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和), National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) and 150 or so others, it failed to form innovative ideas that boost the nation's economy.

Thanks to a global economy on track for recovery, the nation has made headway in the first half of 2014. Exports have gone up. The manufacturing sector is expanding. Private consumption is growing. The job market is also improving. Nevertheless, there is no strong evidence to indicate that they are the results of sound government strategies. Taiwan is just piggybacking on an improved world economy.

The Cabinet's Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) forecast that Taiwan's exports will grow 3.1 percent in 2014, which is lower than the 4-percent growth in global trade forecast by the IMF.

Taiwan is known as an export-oriented economy. Output value derived from foreign demand once contributed the majority of GDP. The trend, however, is reversing. Export value has not contributed as much to the nation's GDP in recent years and output derived from domestic demand is catching up.

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