Implementation Review of the 2015 National Development Plan(Summary)
I. Review of Taiwan’s Macroeconomic Situation in 2015
Global economy sank more deeply into the new mediocre state in 2015, with growth rate of below 3.0% for 4 consecutive years, and global economic and trade activities were weaker than expected. These conditions had impacted Taiwan’s export dynamics, and in turn affected the growth of domestic demand. In addition to implementing the 2015 national development plan, Taiwan’s government also actively promoted a number of policies, such as the “Measures to Consolidate and Bolster Economic Structure, “Consumption-Boosting Program”, “Taiwan Productivity 4.0 Initiative”, and “Ide@ Taiwan 2020 Policy: White Paper”, to overcome cyclical and structural problems and challenges, improve economic health, mitigate the negative impacts caused by the poor performance of the global economy, and stabilize the economy. The followings are the review of key macroeconomic goals in 2015:
－Economic growth rate was 0.65% and per capita GDP was US$ 22,294, both failing to achieve the planned targets.
－Consumer price index (CPI) change rate -0.31%, which is the lowest for the last six years (mainly caused by significant drops in international energy prices, and the general CPI excluding fruits, vegetables and energy, i.e. core CPI, though still modest, increased by 0.79%), and achieved its planned target.
－Unemployment rate was 3.78% and employment grew by 1.08%, both achieving the planned targets. Despite continuous improvement in the labor market, the utilization efficiency of human resources remains to be strengthened.
－Although economic growth rate failed to achieve the planned target, gross national income (GNI) and national income (NI) grew by 5.61% and 5.78% respectively. The real average earnings was 2.83% more than 2014, which is a significant improvement when compared to the last
4 four years, demonstrating the improvement in national economic welfare. The misery index (the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates), which is closely related to public livelihood, was 3.47%, a figure that was lower than that of South Korea and Hong Kong, making it the second lowest amongst the Four Asian Tigers.
II. Review of national development indicators
The government actively undertook a number of construction projects in 2015. Amongst the 93 national development indicators, 66 successfully met their planned targets while 26 failed to do so (CO2 Emissions were excluded due to the lack of statistics) for an achievement rate of 71.7%. The following ranks the aspects of national development indicators in descending order of achievement rate: social (79.3%), infrastructure and government (72.2%), economy (70.3%), and environment (50.0%). Implementation performance in various aspects of national development indicators are provided in the following:
－Economic aspect: Significant results were achieved through supporting local companies in expanding overseas markets and encouraging foreign tourists to visit Taiwan. Proportion of production value of emerging industries (including Intelligent Lifestyle, green energy, biotechnology, automotive electronics, and broadband communication) as part of the total manufacturing sector was also increased. However, production value of excellent and efficient agriculture and IT services failed to reach expectations due to the slowing economy.
－Social aspect: Improvements were achieved for care and services for people with disabilities and childbirths per year. Number of traffic accidents and deaths have also decreased throughout the years. However, lack of adequate long-term care service funding and personnel resulted in failure to meet the planned targets for the coverage of long-term care services.
－Infrastructure and government aspect: The government has actively initiated infrastructure projects that include public sewage systems and replacement of old and leaking public water pipelines while adhering to the planned construction schedule. Meanwhile, improvements were also made to the quality of public construction works and the efficiency of handling official applications and documentation. However, due to public opposition and limited support from local governments, power transmission and substation as well as power cable construction projects failed to achieve the expected progress.
－Environment aspect: Average national concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been improved, along with resource recycling and reutilization rates. However, due to public opposition in the installation of new wind power generators, the installed capacity of renewable energy sources failed to meet the planned targets.
III. Review of the implementation of key policies
1. Invigoration of economic vigor
－Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZ) were implemented, attracting 31 companies and a total investment of NT$ 1.28 billion. Active measures were taken to achieve regional integration such as the “Overall Strategic Action Plan for Promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” and “Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)” on the trade in goods and resolve any disputes arising thereof.
－Actively encouraged investments and acquired an additional NT$ 1.34 trillion from private investors. Developed intelligent lifestyle and other emerging industries and substantially improving production value of these industries to achieve 19.6% of the value of the entire manufacturing sector. Promoted development of key service industries such as digital contents and design to achieve an output value of NT$ 3.5 trillion. Promoted the development of agritourism to create an output value of NT$ 10.5 billion.
－Reviewed the basic wage (minimum wage) and increased the monthly basic wage (minimum wage) to NT$ 20,008 in July 2015 while measures were taken to implement the 5-day work week system. Implemented “Youth Entrepreneurship Project” which assisted 3,625 starting enterprises, and create or maintain 53,000 job positions.
－Promoted public participation in public infrastructure and construction projects, with total contractual sums reaching NT$ 113.5 billion. Allowed securities brokers to operate equity-based crowd-funding businesses, of which 6 firms were approved and 3 were formally opened for service. Third-party payment systems were permitted, approving a total of 3 dedicated operators and 18 concurrent operators. Encouraged domestic financial institutions to assess their strategic plans for expanding in Asian markets. Number of Asian business locations for banks and securities brokers increased by 76% and 8.2% respectively when compared to the end of 2013.
2. Promoting social justice
－Provide taxation incentives encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to employ more people and increase the rank-and-file salary to promote employment and work remuneration in the private sector. Provided rent subsidies to about 50,000 households unable to purchase a house, and provided housing loan subsidies and house-purchasing loans interest subsidies to 5,222 households and house-repairing loans interest subsidies to 601 households.
－Provided NT$ 5.05 billion in childcare allowance for unemployed parents and NT$ 1.44 billion partial daycare subsidies for parents with employment. Stipulated the “Long-Term Care Services Act” which would enter into force 2 years after promulgation. Implemented the “Ten-Year Plan for Long-term Care.” Cumulative service volume in terms of the proportion of total disabled elderly rose from 2.3% in 2008 to 35% in 2015.
－Safeguarding public health by strengthening disease prevention measures against dengue fever and enterovirus infection and healthcare networks. Penalized illegal advertisements, achieving a 5.0% decrease in the proportion of illegal advertisements for pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food products.
3. Establishing a sustainable environment
－Implemented the “Master Action Plan of Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction” to achieve an estimated CO2 emission reduction of up to 6.42 million tons. Expand the installed capacity of renewable energy generators to achieve 5.47 million tons of annual savings in carbon emissions. Develop solar power and other renewable energy industries, generating an output of up to NT$ 457.5 billion.
－Implemented the “Clean Air Action Plan” as well as the “Wetland Conservation Act” and the “Coastal Zone Management Act.” Completed environmental education facilities accreditation for 10 national (nature) parks and urban parks.
－Strengthened disaster prevention and rescue capacities, achieving 80.4% completion for improvements of anti-flooding facilities along rivers administered by central government and 74.5% completion for improvements of regional water drainage facilities. Enhanced earthquake and tsunami detection capabilities as well as early warning and evacuation capacities for disasters.
4. Implementation of overall construction projects
－Improved infrastructure and daily utilities, reducing public utility water pipeline leakage to 16.6% and integral sewage treatment rate of 51.15%. New High Speed Rail (HSR) stations were constructed in Miaoli, Changhua, and Yunlin. The MRT Tucheng extension to Dingpu as well as the construction of the Koahsiung Circular Light Rail Transit(C1-C4) were successfully completed and opened for public service. Cable TV digitalization service reached 89.9% of all households, while the number of wireless broadband network accounts reached 17.92 million households. The southern and northern runways of the Taoyuan International Airport were renovated. The Port of Taipei formally opened by implementing innovative business models including a maritime cargo express service.
－Implemented a total of 16 projects that are related to regional cooperation issues cross counties and cities, and interdisciplinary, cross-functional plans of some individual counties and cities. Established the Six-Level Industries Development Center in the Hualien Cultural Creative Industries Park to provide comprehensive consultation for the supply chain.
5. Friendly international ties and stable Cross-Strait relationships
－Signed a total of 59 commerce-related agreements with countries with no diplomatic relationships. 18 additional countries have provided Taiwanese citizens with Visa waivers or Visa on Arrival (VOA), or other equivalent convenience measures. Continued to convene the “Taiwan-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)” and organized the first “Taiwan-US Digital Economy Forum.” Provided support in disaster relief in Nepal and Haiti and implemented the “Disease Prevention Capacity Development Program” to improve Taiwan's capacity in international relief and aid.
－Attracted a historical record of 10.44 million overseas visitors to Taiwan. Special efforts have been initiated to attract upper class citizens from 5 Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia, and the Muslim world in order to forge Taiwan as a key tourist destination in the Asia Pacific.
－Pursue stable Cross-Strait relationships by convening the 7th routine meeting of the ECFA Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (CSECC) in January 2015 and the 11th Cross-Strait High-Level Talks in August. Mutual visits and high-level meetings were also convened by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) of the Executive Yuan as well as the Minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in May and October.