KMT optimistic on nation's economic outlook
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang (KMT) said yesterday that in comparison to the island's economic outlook when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power, there have been marked improvements, pointing out that under former President Chen Shui-bian's administration, Taiwan ranked lowest among the Four Asian Tigers in terms of economic performance, but that the island has since climbed to second place in recent years, despite the global economic slump.
August 23, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
KMT Culture and Communications Committee chief Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑) said that Taiwan's economic growth stood at 2.06 percent during the first half of this year, ranking second among the Four Asian Tigers ahead of Singapore's 2 percent and South Korea's 1.9 percent.
Although regions across the globe have been mired in economic slumps, the government has been able to stabilize commodity prices and gradually reduce economic inequality in Taiwan, Hsiao said.
In terms of unemployment, Hsiao said that the jobless rate stood at an average of 4.15 percent between January and July, which represents a 0.04-percentage point decrease year-on year.
The jobless rate, as seen in previous years, has a tendency to climb during June, July and August, but it usually decreases in September, Hsiao added.
The misery index, which is a combination of the consumer price index and jobless rate, stood at an average of 6.14 percent during 2008 and 2012 in Taiwan, the lowest among the Four Asian Tigers, Hsiao said, adding that between 2000 and 2004, the first term of Chen's presidency, the number was the second highest among the Four Asian Tigers.
Despite the global economic gloom, Taiwan has been performing relatively well, and after the government inked investment and trade pacts with Japan and New Zealand, direct foreign investment in Taiwan increased by more than US$5 billion, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, ranking the highest among 27 developing Asian economics, Hsiao added.