Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang expressed optimism Wednesday over Taiwan's exports in the second half of the year, saying that his ministry will do its utmost to make them reach an annual growth rate of 8 percent in 2012.
Although Taiwan's exports in the first four months of the year fell 4.7 percent from the same period of last year to US$96.37 billion, Shih said on the sidelines of a legislative hearing that his ministry will work hard to reach the target, but it will not be easy.
According to the ministry, the target goal for total exports in 2012 is an annual growth rate of 8 percent, representing nearly US$333 billion.
The total value of Taiwan's exports last year stood at US$308.3 billion, up 12.3 percentage points from a year earlier, ministry statistics showed.
There were several times in the past when exports levels were poor in the first half of the year, but performed better in the second half, Shih said.
The base period also plays a critical part in the growth rate figure, he said, adding that the first half of 2011 was a high base period, while the second half was relatively lower.
Citing a forecast by local analysts, the minister added the electronic component industry is expected to be the main driver of the economy on the back of launches of new information and communication technology products.
In addition, driven by the ministry's latest export-boosting project -- which aims to create business opportunities worth US$2.12 billion for the whole year, Shih said the value of the country's exports is expected to climb steadily.
The project will encompass 45 measures under six categories and will include expanding financial support for local small- and medium-sized businesses, inviting more foreign buyers to visit Taiwan, promoting Taiwanese products and holding online procurement meetings, according to the ministry.
(By James Lee)