January 2023  
Weakening global demands hinder global growth this year
TIER forecast: Taiwan’s 2023 annual GDP growth rate will stand at 2.58%
With respect to the impact of COVID mutant viruses, ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, high inflation pressure and climate change, the performance of the global economy was not good at all in 2022. Most countries have implemented monetary policy tightening measures in order to cope with inflation. Negative impacts such as rising commodity prices, policy tightening and financial pressure have dimmed the global economic outlook, and the slowdown will continue in 2023. The economic performance of the United States and Europe may be likely to stagnate. Although the Chinese economy is expected to rebound due to the relaxation of lockdown measures; however, the magnitude of the rebound is still uncertain. Therefore, major international forecasting agencies believe that the growth rates of global economy and trade in 2023 will slow down compared with the previous year. On the domestic front, although the weakening of global economic demand has seriously affected Taiwan’s foreign trade performance, and manufacturers’ capital investment has also become more conservative due to the weaker external demands and rising lending interest rates, the growth of private investment has slowed down significantly; nevertheless, the government’s public construction budget scale is at a new high, coupled with the still strong private consumption, and benefiting from the continuous relaxation of domestic pandemic prevention control measures as well as the opening of borders, Taiwanese people’s overseas consumption is expected to increase significantly. It seems that the private sector and the government will work together to support Taiwan’s economic performance in 2023. The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) issued its latest forecast for Taiwan’s GDP growth in 2023, it is predicted to grow by 2.58%. ...Read more
Taiwan’s TSMC to implement flexible work schedule for staff
Going back to work after the Lunar New Year holiday will become just a little easier for employees of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) working at the Hsinchu Science Park. In addition to handing out bonuses equaling 3.8 months’ salary for employees with just one year of service, to 30 months’ pay for those with lengthy tenure, TSMC will soon address employee welfare issues by implementing "flexible work schedules". The program will help ease traffic that commuters face when traveling to and from the Hsinchu Science Park, with full implementation expected in the second half of 2023 as TSMC’s Human Resources Department is still working on details of a comprehensive flexible work schedule. The semiconductor manufacturer conducted a survey of employee willingness to participate in a flexible work schedule at the end of last year, finding many receptive to the plan due to frequent traffic jams commuting to work, while others needed flexibility due to picking up and dropping children off at school and daycare. Furthermore, the National Science Council will work to formulate other measures to help manufacturers implement scheduling which reduces traffic, alleviating one of the biggest headaches for staff working at the science park (Source: Taiwan News).

TWSE plans to set up office in Vietnam (Source: Focus Taiwan).
Major crash hits memorychip firms (Source: Taipei Times).
Taiwan Economic Research Monthly
Keep up with ESG megatrends
In the future, the operations of all enterprises must comply with ESG-related norms, which involve a wide range of aspects, and are bound to be one of the most important issues in the next ten years. In recent years, countries have also proposed policies on the sustainable development of society and enterprises, so the formulation of sustainable development policies has become one of the most important issues in the world. Different from social responsibility, which was only implemented by enterprises themselves in the past, it has now become the primary issue related to revenue and survival. In addition, the current financial report, which mainly evaluates the quality of a company, cannot fully reflect the company's current operating conditions and the harm to society and the environment. Therefore, ESG is an important way to internalize external costs. Not only are large enterprises and governments aware of the importance of ESG, but the concepts of consumers and investors are also gradually changing. The world is paying more attention to ESG. However, the implementation of ESG is not easy, because there is indeed no common standard for ESG evaluations, indicators, and guidelines around the world. The government must introduce globally applicable guidelines or formulate clear standards and norms, so that Taiwanese companies can jointly transform towards sustainable development.
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