• TIER cautiously revises 2018 Taiwan growth up

    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s top-tier think tank Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) revised its economic forecast for Taiwan up by 0.04 percentage point to 2.34 percent for 2018, largely due to the upturn in the global economy, increased export orders, a potential pay raise wave, and the local stock market boom.

  • Taiwan's FSC mulls establishment of pure digital banks

    FSC Chairman Wellington Koo. (By Central News Agency)Taipei, Jan. 23 — The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is studying the possibility of allowing the banking sector to open banks that operate exclusively online in a bid to strengthen financial technology in Taiwan, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to the press, Koo said while many banks operating in Taiwan provide clients with online banking services, the country currently bans exclusive digital banks with no physical outlets.

    However, in order to improve the competitiveness of the local banking sector, Koo said, the FSC needs to study the feasibility of opening pure digital banks in Taiwan, and has listed this as a priority policy for the commission in 2018.

    Koo said the FSC, Taiwan's top financial regulator, is scheduled to send delegations to Japan and South Korea in February. Online digital banks have launched services in both countries and the delegations will collect as much information as possible on the new business, Koo added.

    Once Taiwan lifts its ban on exclusive digital banks, traditional banks are expected to develop the technology needed to drive the new services, which could accelerate the pace of FinTech development and even promote consolidation of the local banking sector.

    Currently, a traditional commercial bank in Taiwan needs minimum paid-in capital of NT$10 billion (US$340 million) to secure a full service license. Koo said it remains to be seen how much a pure digital bank will need as that would depend on what business the bank wants to undertake.

    He said if a pure digital bank only takes deposits, extends loans and conducts fund remittances, the capital requirement will be lower.

    In 2015, the FSC had a similar idea to allow the establishment of pure online banks. However, at that time the local banking sector faced overbanking so the commission dropped the idea.

    The FSC said it would reconsider the policy after the consolidation of the local banking sector and is now promising that any such businesses will be subject to strict risk controls. 

  • New Southbound Policy powers Taiwan 2017 exports

    Port of Kaohsiung (By Central News Agency)Taiwan’s exports to New Southbound Policy countries surged 13.4 percent year on year to US$67.4 billion in 2017, the best rate in six years and third highest total on record, according to the Ministry of Finance Jan. 19.
     
    This strong result reflects the effectiveness of the policy in bolstering Taiwan’s trading ties with the 18 economies in the NSP region, the MOF said, adding that the numbers are expected to further improve as additional government promotional efforts come on line.
     
    One of the key components of government’s national development strategy, the policy seeks to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
     
    A breakdown of MOF data reveals Taiwan’s exports to the 10 ASEAN member states increased 14.2 percent year on year to US$58.6 billion, or 86.9 percent of all shipments to NSP countries. This is followed by the six South Asian nations, 13.49 percent to US$5.23 billion; and Australia and New Zealand, 1.6 percent to US$3.57 billion.
     
    In terms of country growth, Malaysia led the way at 32.7 percent to US$10.37 billion followed by India, 17 percent to US$3.3 billion; Thailand, 16.6 percent to US$6.4 billion; Indonesia, 16.3 percent to US$3.19 billion; and Pakistan, 14.5 percent to US$520 million. The trade totals for Malaysia and Pakistan, both record highs, were attributed by the MOF to rising demand for Taiwan’s key export items in the areas of basic metals, chemicals, electronic components and parts, information and communication technology, and minerals.
     
    The policy is also moving the chains for Taiwan on the tourism field. The latest statistics from the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications show NSP region arrivals rose 27.3 percent to 2.28 million in 2017, exceeding the annual target of 1.8 million. 

  • 60% of Taiwan businesses recruiting during Q1 2018: poll

    (Image from Pixabay user Jo_Johnston) TAIPEI (CNA) — The weeks following Lunar New Year are generally when people in Taiwan switch to new jobs or even change career paths, so it should come as no surprise that a large number of businesses have plans to recruit during the first quarter of this year.

    According to the latest survey by TaiwanJobs, an online recruitment platform established by the Bureau of Employment, 60.60 percent of Taiwan's businesses surveyed have plans to recruit during the first quarter, while 24.62 percent are unsure and 14.78 percent do not have openings, so will not be recruiting.

    TaiwanJobs published its results based on 1,109 completed, valid telephone questionnaires collected between Nov. 20 and Dec. 7, 2017. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.93 percentage points.

    Among those respondents, 672 companies indicated they are looking to hire during the first three months of 2018.

    A further breakdown found that most companies, at 47.32 percent, plan to hire one to 10 people, while 25.75 percent are looking for 11 to 30 new employees.

    Businesses checked off the qualifications they were looking for in their ideal candidates, listing experience that fits the job requirement (85.21 percent), professional and technical skills (63.84 percent), and previous employment in the industry (43.91 percent) as top priorities on their wish list.

    On the flip side, they regarded blowing off the interview or being late, widely criticizing one's previous employer and being unable to answer many of the interview questions as major reasons to disqualify candidates.

    While TaiwanJobs did not conduct a similar survey for 2017, it did for 2016, and found in that year that 56.46 percent of the 1,068 businesses surveyed were actively recruiting in the first quarter of that year.

    Compared with data obtained from other job bank surveys, the trend seems to indicate that as Taiwan's economy rebounds, more companies are hiring. 

  • Taiwan firms to face anti-dumping tariffs in South Korea, Malaysia

    (By Central News Agency)TAIPEI (CNA) — Authorities in South Korea have ruled that Taiwanese petrochemical firms have caused damage to its industry by dumping products, while authorities in Malaysia have also determined damage caused by Taiwanese stainless steel exporters that sold their products at unfairly low prices, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Saturday.

    The MOEA said the Korea Trade Commission (KTC) has suggested an 8.68 percent anti-dumping tariff to be imposed on Taiwan's polyethylene terephthalate or polyester (PET) film makers after an investigation.

    PET film is an ingredient of a wide range of products including packaging materials, solar energy panels, adhesive tape and liquid crystal displays, according to the MOEA.

    The MOEA said the KTC has suggested that anti-dumping tariffs should be slapped on PET film makers, not only from Taiwan but also from Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF).

    Firms from Thailand may face anti-dumping tariffs ranging between 3.67 percent and 3.71 percent, while anti-dumping rates to be faced by UAE firms could range between 7.98 percent and 60.95 percent, the MOEA cited data from South Korea as saying.

    According to the MOEA, Taiwan serves as the fourth-largest foreign PET film supplier to South Korea after Japan, China and Thailand. Taiwan sold US$16.95 million-worth of PET film in 2015, US$18.44 million in 2016 and US$21.71 million in 2017, taking a 4.22 percent, 4.38 percent and 4.62 percent share, respectively, in the three-year period.

    The MOEA said the possible 8.68 percent anti-dumping tariff is expected to affect Taiwan's PET film firms' competitiveness in the South Korean market.

    In November 2017, the MOSF imposed a preliminary anti-dumping tariff of 5.23 percent against Taiwan's PET film exporters.

    Meanwhile, the MOEA said the Malaysia International Trade and Industry Ministry has suggested imposing anti-dumping tariffs of up to 14.02 percent against Taiwan's cold-rolled stainless steel exporters.

    The Malaysian authorities also have suggested anti-dumping tariffs of up to 7.27 percent against South Korean exporters of the same product, along with between 3.66 percent and 23.95 percent against Chinese firms, and tariffs of between 22.86 percent and 111.61 percent against exporters from Thailand, the MOEA said.

    The Malaysian authorities are scheduled to come up with a final ruling on the punishments by Feb. 8, the MOEA added.

    Taiwan is the largest cold-rolled stainless steel supplier to Malaysia, according to the MOEA.

    While Taiwan's cold-rolled stainless steel exports for the first nine months of last year fell 67 percent from a year earlier to US$6.89 million, Taiwan still accounted for a 47 percent share of Malaysia's total imports of the product, the largest among all of the country's importers.