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Exports of ICT may suffer this year: MOEA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products as well as optical instruments may suffer in 2014, while exports of traditional non-tech products such as plastics, machinery and base metal goods may outperform them, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.

Global economic recovery in 2014 is expected to drive growth for Taiwan's manufacturing sector. However, as China carries out a structural reform to its domestic supply chain and relies less on imported products, Taiwan's exports of ICT products may suffer from a downdraft, the MOEA said.

Most forecasting agencies predict a better economy in 2014, the Department of Statistics under the MOEA pointed out, adding that the U.S. economy is growing with a cheap energy supply, while the debt crisis in the eurozone is subsiding. The two regions are providing the momentum to drive economic growth around the world.

In terms of foreign demand, exports of electronics and mineral products favored well in 2013. In terms of domestic demand, automobile and travel-related sales grew. Business revenues totaled NT$14.3 trillion in 2013, setting a new record. With a slow performance in the first three quarters, the manufacturing sector only grew 0.66 percent in 2013.

As major brands are expected to roll out new hand-held devices this year, the MOEA predicted that demand for high-end mobile devices around the world will keep growing. In the meantime, new products within the mid- and low-end range will drive demand in mainland China. Local electronics and other related industries are likely to benefit as a result, the MOEA said.

The economic recovery around the globe is likely to drive up growth in the wholesale sector. A stable local economy, on the other hand, will drive growth momentum for the retail and food sectors.

In regard to local investment, the MOEA said that semiconductor businesses are expected to continue their high-end facility investments.

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