Taiwan exports to six South Asian countries post record fall

08/13/2020 10:47 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) Taiwan's exports to six countries in South Asia in the first seven months of 2020 saw their biggest ever year-on-year fall, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) reported on Thursday.

Due to lockdown restrictions and border control measures imposed by governments across the globe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan's outbound shipments to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan plunged 35.7 percent from the same period last year to US$2.122 billion.

The figures fell to roughly the same as the US$2.143 billion posted in 2004, when data was first recorded, MOF data showed.

From 2004-2010, Taiwan's exports to the six South Asian countries, mainly rubber, chemicals, basic metals and conventional products, rose from around US$2.1 billion per year to US$5 billion per year, peaking at US$6.37 billion in 2011 as a result of economic expansion in some of those countries, the same tallies indicated.

Taiwan's exports to the six countries fell 10 percent to US$5.46 billion in 2019, following a string of annual increases, due to lower demand for plastic products from South Asian countries.

India, the largest market in the region, imported US$1.255 billion worth of Taiwanese products from January to July, a 36.9 percent decrease year-on-year, chiefly caused by a drop in exports of rubber, chemical, textile, machinery and mineral goods to the country.

Bangladesh, the second largest export market for Taiwan in the region, bought US$460 million worth of Taiwanese products during the same period, a 33.3 percent fall from the previous year.

Pakistan saw the largest contraction of 41.9 percent in imports from Taiwan, which reached US$243 million in the seven-month period, while Sri Lanka imported US$158 million of Taiwanese products, a 19.7 percent decline, MOF statistics showed.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's exports to Nepal and Bhutan totaled less than US$6 million during the same period, the MOF said.

(By Flor Wang and Liu Pei-cheng)

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