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'Year of the Little Dragon' economically promising: Ma

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the nation's economic forecast for this year has grown positive.

The Kuomintang (KMT) yesterday held its last pre-Chinese New Year Central Standing Committee weekly meeting, in which Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, thanked party members for their hard work and maintaining solidarity.

The president said that last year the nation was hit hard by an economic downturn, but fortunately, the economy saw a gradual turnaround in the fourth quarter, and that it has been looking even more upbeat since January this year.

The administration cannot simply sit back and wait for the global economy to rebound, Ma said, adding that the Executive Yuan needs to rev up its Economic Power-up Plan (經濟動能推升方案).

There are still many challenges that the island needs to overcome, Ma said, adding that these will prove to be important steps for the ruling party as well as the Republic of China.

The president further called for comprehensive, pragmatic, gradual and transparent measures.

With regard to party affairs, Ma lauded KMT members for their contribution toward bringing headquarters and local branches closer together.

Ma went on to say that the “Year of the Little Dragon” will be an exciting year, and that he hopes birth rates will remain at the same level as last year.

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