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Minister optimistic about GDP growth reaching 3.2% this year

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) yesterday said as advanced economies appear to have positive performance, he is optimistic to see Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) reach the government's goal of 3.2 percent in 2014.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday led Cabinet members to greet each other on the first day of work after Chinese New Year at the Executive Yuan's auditorium; Kuan, who doubles as a minister without portfolio, also attended the gathering.

When asked to comment on recent international stock market plunges, Kuan said given the recent U.S. policy changes, it is predicable to see some financial fluctuations, stressing that the latest share price movements could be a “short-term phenomena.” He said that healthy economic fundamentals still serve as a long-term indicator for stock market movements.

Kuan Dismisses Personnel Speculation

Kuan responded to the Cabinet personnel reshuffle speculation, saying that during Chinese New Year, instead of receiving calls from his superiors regarding the matter, he got many calls from media reporters asking him about the speculation.

Noting that the Cabinet led by Jiang has been in office for over a year, Kuan said as the administration is currently familiar with all the affairs and many major policies were made by incumbent ministers, he believes the Cabinet members will achieve more this year.

Premier Encourages Cabinet Members

At the Executive Yuan's auditorium, Jiang encouraged Cabinet members to take on the people's expectations of the government, and show strong ambitions toward carrying out major policies.

“Don't hesitate, and don't be afraid to be criticized if you believe you are doing the right things,” the premier said, noting that “it's not easy, but don't forget a lot of people still support us.”

Jiang said during Chinese New Year, he noticed that every tourist destination in the country was crowded with people. “I've been told that it is a good sign for a good year, and I hope the nation and the Executive Yuan can be better than last year,” he said.

Jiang stressed it is very important for the Executive Yuan to maintain a positive relationship with government ministries. He went on to say that to gain support from people, all ministries have to propose good policies, noting that on the other hand, should the Cabinet show firm leadership, ministries could execute policies without hesitation.

When asked about the Cabinet personnel reshuffle speculation, Jiang declined to respond.

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