TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced today (Aug. 1) that Taiwan pulled ahead of the rest of the pack of Asia's four tigers in the second quarter thanks in part to total investment by Taiwanese businesses returning from China exceeding NT$500 billion (US$16 billion) so far this year, doubling the original goal for 2019.
On her Facebook page this morning, Tsai wrote: "Taiwan's economic performance is good, everyone continues to fight together." Taiwan's economic growth rate reached 2.41 percent in the second quarter, surpassing rivals South Korea (2.1 percent), Hong Kong (0.6 percent), and Singapore (0.1 percent), according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS).
Tsai said the good results were not accidental but are due to three years of patience in adjusting the economic quality of Taiwan. "Starting last year, in response to the trade war between the U.S. and China, we have helped enterprises invest in Taiwan and distribute globally. Now the achievements have started to pour in," wrote Tsai.
Tsai then listed four key economic achievements Taiwan has accomplished this year:
- Economic growth rate of 2.41 percent in the second quarter, higher than expected.
- Asia's four tigers increased exports to the U.S. in the first half of the year, with Taiwan leading the way with an increase of 17.4 percent.
- Computer electronics and optical products made in Taiwan and exported to the U.S. increased by 90 percent.
- Total investment by Taiwanese companies returning to Taiwan reached NT$500 billion in the first half of the year, twice the original target.
"Next, I will give full play to the advantages of international economic and trade negotiations and continue to lead Taiwan's economic growth upwards," wrote Tsai. The president said government teams will work with the people to gradually direct investment into new factories, new production lines, and new employment opportunities "so that the fruits of economic growth can be seen."
According to a report released in May by London-based IHS Markit, Taiwan's economic growth rate this year will be 2 percent, while the DGBAS earlier this year predicted an annual growth rate of 2.27 percent. In either case, the economic growth rate will put Taiwan on a path to surpass its rival Asian tigers, including Hong Kong (1.8 percent), South Korea (1.7 percent), and Singapore (1.4 percent) for the year.
This is the first time Taiwan has posted the highest economic growth numbers in over 10 years. According to IHS Markit, the global economic growth rate for this year will be 2.8 percent, with the U.S. economy expected to grow by 2.7 percent, while rival China will officially grow at 6.2 percent, though statistics from China are notoriously unreliable.
Tsai Ing-wen's Facebook post: