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Less confidence on Taiwan economic outlook

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Colored lights illuminate downtown Taipei in southeast China's Taiwan March 28, 2017. Xinhua/Ou Dongqu

TAIPEI (Xinhua) – Multinational business leaders are less confident than last year about Taiwan’s economic outlook over the next 12 months, according to a survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei).

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Only 45.8 percent of those surveyed said they were very or somewhat confident about the economic outlook for 2019, indicating a 10 percentage points drop from the year before, the survey showed.

More than 40 percent of the respondents said that “product and service innovation” would be the main business growth opportunity for their companies this year, around 30 percent said they would plan to increase employment and over half of them said they would keep the number of their employees unchanged.

The survey showed that the companies are most concerned with the local regulatory framework, energy, labour policies and taxation, noting that further reforms are needed for Taiwan to meet the needs of a competitive and knowledge-based economy.

Nearly 90 percent said they were extremely or somewhat concerned with power supply sufficiency, and nearly 60 percent were dissatisfied with the level of attention local policy makers give to business, according to the survey.

The survey also said that the high individual tax rate is seen as making it more difficult to attract high-caliber talent to Taiwan.

However, many business leaders were more positive about the island’s three-year economic outlook, with over 50 percent expressing a degree of confidence – mostly unchanged from last year.

A total of 179 member companies of the AmCham Taipei were surveyed from Nov 12 to Dec 21, with over 80 valid samples.

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