DGBAS lowers growth forecast to 2.08%
The China PostBy Ann Yu--The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) announced yesterday that Taiwan's economy contracted 0.16 percent during the second quarter. It also forecast gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year of 2.08 percent, nearly a full percentage point less than the May estimate of 3.03 percent.
August 1, 2012, 12:41 am TWN
According to the DGBAS, the slump came as a result of faltering exports and weak consumer confidence, which it in turn blamed on the deteriorating global economy, declining stock prices, low profits and shrinking wages.
Consumption growth will only increase 1.77 percent by the end of the year, the DGBAS said.
Premier Sean Chen has expressed concern over the sluggish 2-percent growth and said the government has stepped up efforts to prevent any similar declines. The Executive Yuan is also using numerous tactics to protect and boost growth, combining forces from different government agencies and hosting meetings with industry heavyweights and entrepreneurs.
Aiming for Emerging Markets: Chen
Government spending, private investment, consumption and export rates all play a role in determining the GDP, and Premier Chen said that it is difficult to guarantee expansion by relying on investment and consumption alone. The fastest way to stimulate market growth is to focus on exports, he stated.
It is an opportune time to boost the sector, Chen said, as export rates are currently declining.
Chen said he had confidence that emerging markets could provide a leg up for export businesses. Since traditional markets are gradually reaching saturation point, emerging markets will have a chance to withstand the global economic crisis.
“'Made in Taiwan' has become a popular brand overseas,” the premier said. “There is great potential in spanning international markets for Taiwanese products.” He added that 26 offices have been set up worldwide by the semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council to promote trade, with plans to add two more by the end of the year.
When asked his thoughts on economic growth, Chen said that considering the global economy, protecting the 2 percent GDP growth of Taiwan would be a difficult challenge. “We cannot estimate how far we will go, but the most important thing is that we take responsibility now,” he said.
Tourism Strategies to Boost Revenue
The Tourism Bureau is also proposing tourism strategies with an eye to enhancing revenue. Last autumn hot springs attracted 500,000 tourists around the island, earning revenue exceeding NT$100 million.
The bureau has launched a string of tourist activities to lure more visitors, including the Taiwan Food Expo, Hot Springs Festival, Sun Moon Lake Fireworks Festival (日月潭花火節), and Alishan Wedding Ceremonies (阿里山神木婚禮).
According to reports from the bureau, the number of overseas tourists visiting Taiwan is growing at a steady rate of roughly 1 million every year. In addition, approximately 3.57 million tourists visited Taiwan in the first half of the year, with the full-year total predicted to hit 7 million.