Taiwan Is Ready for the Great Change
“After eight years of international disputes, economic stagnation and political corruption, the Taiwanese voters turned their back to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last January when Kuomintang (KMT) captured 72 percent of the 113 parliamentary seats,” notes Dr Steinbock in his pre-election analysis for Talouselama, Finland’s leading business weekly (March 21, 2008; in Finnish). He expected a strong and positive market reaction. “In the absence of miracles, KMT’s presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou will win and Taiwan will prepare for a great change. The outcome of these elections has the potential to change Taiwan and, more importantly, to stabilize its relationship with mainland China.”
Stock prices soared in Taiwan on Monday March 25 as investors welcomed Saturday’s presidential election victory of Ma Ying-jeou, the Nationalist Party leader who has called for closer relations with mainland China — a development that could spur the island’s lagging economy.
The Rise of Importphobia
“In the United States, economic anxiety has inspired a backlash against free trade. Will it lead to protectionism?” asks Dr Steinbock in his new brief for Kauppapolitiikka, the prestigious trade journal of Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. U.S. share of world imports peaked at over 20 percent in August 2000. “In June 2007, America’s share of global imports had dropped to 14 percent of the total. U.S. consumer spending remains a key ingredient of global growth, but the baton of global consumption is being passed from shoppers in the U.S. to consumers in Europe, Japan and particularly the emerging markets – which accounted for 40.6 percent of world imports in the first half of 2007.”