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Gov't will solve 0.18% GDP decrease: Jiang

The China Post--Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday promised that the government will take serious responsive measures in order to tackle local economic obstacles. After the Asia Business News and Corporate (ABN) revealed Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.18 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, opposing parties fired a volley of criticism at the Executive Yuan for the slow “revival.”

As the nation has been heavily affected by the European debt crisis and the global economic slump, Jiang explained that Taiwan faces great challenges in reforming industry and boosting exports. He stated that industry reforms have not gone as expected, while exports continue to decline. “Honestly, its worrisome,” he said, after comparing economic growth rates with those of neighboring countries.

According to recent reports, Taiwan ranks last among the “Four Asian Tigers” — South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore — and last among the 12 largest economies of Asia, and is the only nation with a deficit in economic growth. Jiang said the government will “take serious account” of all suggestions related to boosting the economy. He also added that the government should maintain its original short-, mid- and long-term strategies of enhancing Taiwan's economy, and avoid being sidetracked by the rankings.

Jiang voiced optimism toward the Executive Yuan's efforts, stating that Premier Sean Chen has held five series of symposiums where leaders of finance, business and industry gathered to discuss and devise effective strategies to strengthen the economy. “Moreover, we are also pushing related bureaus and councils to put each strategy into concrete action,” he added.

“Hopefully, we can all contribute in revitalizing Taiwan's economy, which will lead to significant progress over the next year,” Jiang concluded.

Opposing Parties Urge Government Replacement

Chief Secretary of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) held a press conference yesterday, asking for new replacements of Cabinet-level officials in a bid to revitalize the ailing economy.

According to Tsai, the government continues to fail the people with empty promises of solutions to price hikes and the slumping economy. “The leaders are not capable of handling the economy,” he said, urging a replacement for the betterment of the nation. “Taiwan will lose its competitive edge unless drastic measures are implemented,” he warned.

Chief Secretary of Kuomintang (KMT) Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) refuted Tsai's statements, saying he was “extremely disappointed” at the DPP's response to the Executive Yuan's efforts. “The DPP should not make such irrational judgments upon a single issue,” Wu said.

In Chen's defense, Wu lauded the premier's efforts to reboot the economy by organizing weekly meetings of business and industry leaders. “He has just begun. It is destructive and unhelpful to the nation to ask the premier to step down before he has even truly started,” Wu said.

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