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Premier Chen expects economy to improve

The China Post news staff --Premier Sean Chen yesterday said he expects the nation's economic indicators to improve in October. He also called on the opposition camp to join the government's efforts to battle the current slowdown for the people's sake.

Amid protests by opposition lawmakers when giving his latest administrative report at the Legislative Yuan, Chen stressed that improving Taiwan's industrial structure and integrating with the international economic system are the two most important tasks facing the country today.

Following the resolution to a trade dispute with the United States over beef imports containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, the government will work to quickly resume Taiwan-U.S. talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, and to speed up free trade negotiations with other trade partners, he said.

The premier said the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) has recently unveiled an economic stimulus package in the hope of enhancing Taiwan's economic strength and improving its industrial structure.

“In the face of the current situation, I hope ruling and opposition parties can work together to boost the economy,” Chen said at the end of his report, which was cut short due to “boycott” action taken by the three lawmakers of minor opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), who tried to block the report.

Legislators of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chose not to attend the session as part of their boycott.

Apology

During the question-and-answer session, Legislator Chiang Nai-shin of the ruling Kuomintang raised concerns over the worsening economic indicators, climbing commodity prices, high unemployment rate and rising misery index.

Before answering the questions, Premier Chen first made an apology for the economy's unsatisfactory performance.

He said that all major international think tanks have revised downward the global economic growth forecasts for 2012, a sign that the world economic environment is continuing to worsen.

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