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Confidence in Taiwan's economy rises, cross-strait concerns drop: AmCham

01/30/2024 08:53 PM
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American Chamber of Commerce chairperson Dan Silver (right) and president Patrick Lin (left) present the chamber's latest Business Climate Survey. CNA photo Jan. 30, 2024
American Chamber of Commerce chairperson Dan Silver (right) and president Patrick Lin (left) present the chamber's latest Business Climate Survey. CNA photo Jan. 30, 2024

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) American businesses' confidence in Taiwan's economic outlook over the next 12 months has risen while their concern over cross-Taiwan Strait tensions decreased, a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taiwan shows.

In the latest Business Climate Survey released on Tuesday, 81 percent of AmCham members surveyed expressed confidence in Taiwan's economic growth outlook over the next 12 months, Dan Silver, chairperson of the business group said at a press conference in Taipei.

This represents a year-on-year increase of 11 percent, Silver said, pointing to "optimism" and the resurgence of confidence in Taiwan's economy among the business group's 507 corporate members, following approximately two years of economic downturns.

"If we look out over the next three years - 2024, 2025 and 2026 - we can see that confidence among our members is at a five-year high," he went on, "85 percent of our members believe that they are confident … about the future economic prospects of Taiwan over the coming three years."

While AmCham members have identified geopolitical uncertainty, particularly tensions across the Taiwan Strait, as "a risk," it is "not so much of a deterrence" to companies mulling expansion in Taiwan, the chairperson said.

The survey findings indicate that 46 percent of members viewed geopolitical uncertainty to be the most prominent factor that could discourage further investment in Taiwan, which marked "a significant 20-percentage point drop from last year."

For the outlook in 2024, about 31 percent of members anticipate disruptions to their company operations due to cross-strait tensions, 30 percent expressed no expectation of significant disruption, and 39 percent remained uncertain, the findings indicated.

Although AmCham members do not express high levels of concern about these tensions, "businesses do need a stable and peaceful environment to prosper," the group said, noting that a majority of the members considered cross-strait relations should remain one of the top priorities for Taiwan's government.

At the same time, AmCham encourages Taiwan to continue deepening economic ties with the United States and "seek with urgency" opportunities to move towards new agreements, Silver said.

A bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the U.S. "has remained, and is, our members' highest desire," he said, despite acknowledging that prospects "remain modest" due to Washington's apparent lack of interest.

The survey, conducted from Nov. 20 to Dec. 15, 2023, revealed that of the 444 corporate members eligible to participate, 223 completed the survey, according to AmCham.

(By Joy Tseng and Teng Pei-ju)

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