May 2012  
Taiwan Economy Facing Headwinds from External and Internal Aspects
TIER Business Composite Index Dips Implicating Uncertainties in 2H
Taiwanese economy is now facing headwinds from both external and internal perspectives. Despite the US economy seems on the track to gradual recovery, continuing European debt troubles and probable Chinese economic soft landing have been threatening the recuperation of global markets. In addition to the external uncertainties, policies scheduled to be enforced by the Ma administration such as fuel and electricity price hike and tax on stock capital gains further complex the investing and financial environments facing Taiwan. Last month, we thought a more optimistic second quarter could be anticipated due to the improving business atmosphere worldwide albeit remaining concern on government policies. We might want to suspend the hopefulness for now as TIER business composite index declined in April after three-month consecutive growth. The index dip makes the second half of 2012 more ambiguous.
The total exports of USD 25.54 billion contracted by 12.55% in April over the previous month. The April imports of USD 24.86 billion however increased by 3.6% Month-on-Month. Exports of items like IT and communication products in April still grew by 7.1% compared to March, notwithstanding exports of other items decreased. Imports items such as machinery and equipments, and basic medals and products contracted by 1.4% and 3.0% respectively, while imports of other major items increased in April Month-on-Month. Compared with the same period of previous year, exports in April dropped by 6.4%, whereas imports grew by 2.1%. In this case, the best performance of exports goes to transportation equipments that increased by significantly 17.9% Year-on-Year.
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Taiwan included in US visa waiver program in Oct
Vice President We Den-Yih said Taiwan would have a chance to be included in the US visa waiver program in October 2012. "A total of 127 countries have placed Taiwan in their visa waiver program. US should also consider to grant Taiwan the visa waiver program, thus Taiwan's tourists can be treated with respected and welcome while travelling to the US."

President Ma's second term commences on 20th May
President Ma Ying-Jeou has been officially sworn in for his second term on 20th May. Ma appreciated diplomatic allies for supporting Taiwan and he also expected to maintain strong ties with trading and economic partners during his second term. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 230 foreign digitaries attended Ma's inanguration on 20th May.

The Executive Yuan approved a third stage of opening China's investment to Taiwan
The Financial Supervisory Commission announced to create a favourable enviornment for SMEs development by bolstering incentives to domestic banks
Taiwan Economic Research Monthly
Opportunities and Chanllenges for Taiwan's SME development
Study on Taiwan's SME management
To understand Taiwan SME management trends, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research has begun dealing with the questionaires which eastablishes the Taiwan's SME outlook index. The Taiwan's SME outlook index, consists of 10 questions, measures the SME perceptions to their business in the near term.
The trading activity in Taiwan's SME
Taiwan's exports mainly distribute in the Asian market. Among this, the proportion of exports to China is the largest compared to other Asian countries. In addition, the U.S. has the largest proportion of Taiwan exports in the industrial markets. Therefore, the changes in the U.S. or China economic situations could have direct impacts on Taiwan's exports.
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