Ma Ying-jeou meets 2011 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Dr. Christopher A. Sims

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou met on the afternoon of October 24 with 2011 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Dr. Christopher A. Sims. President Ma welcomed Dr. Sims to Taiwan on behalf of the government and people of the ROC, and explained to Dr. Sims the success that Taiwan has achieved in international competitiveness rankings.

In remarks, the president noted that Dr. Sims is an authority in the field of macroeconomics, and has long dedicated himself to empirical research, with a particular focus on time series econometrics. Dr. Sims, he pointed out, in 1980 created the vector autoregression model, using concrete data to analyze the cause-and-effect relationship between economic policy and gross domestic product, inflation, unemployment, and other economic indicators. Furthermore, in 2011 Dr. Sims was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in recognition of his work on “empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.” The president said this demonstrates that the model developed by Dr. Sims has received considerable attention and praise from global economists.

President Ma stated that Taiwan’s economic performance has received outstanding marks in a variety of international reports. For instance, Taiwan was ranked seventh in the World Competitiveness Yearbook released by Switzerland’s IMD in May of this year, up six notches from 2008, he said. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum released its Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 in September, and Taiwan ranked 13th among the 144 nations included in the survey. Furthermore, Business Environment Risk Intelligence of the United States in its 2012 survey ranked Taiwan as having the fourth best investment environment in the world, he said.

The president furthermore noted that the World Bank in its Knowledge Economy Index this year ranked Taiwan 13th out of 146 countries, and first in Asia. Meanwhile, a few days ago, the World Bank also ranked Taiwan 16th in the world in terms of the overall regulatory ease of doing business in 2012, up 45 slots from 2008, he said.

President Ma also stated that Taiwan is concerned about the continuation of the eurozone debt crisis and the slowdown in the US economy. Despite Taiwan’s impressive performance in international investment and economic rankings, the public has even higher expectations for the domestic economy, he pointed out. The president pointed out that Taiwan’s unemployment rate stood at 4.32% in September, while the consumer price index is expected to rise by 1.93% this year. However, average salaries here have risen slowly and real salaries are at about the same level as over a decade ago, he explained. This constitutes a challenge that the government is making every effort to address, he stated.

Dr. Sims, along with First Commercial Bank Chairman Ching-nain Tsai (蔡慶年), Economic Daily News Publisher James Yang (楊仁烽), and Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research Chairman Dr. Chi-Yuan Liang (梁啟源) were accompanied to the Presidential Office by Council for Economic Planning and Development Deputy Minister Hsiao-Hung Nancy Chen (陳小紅) to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General John C.C. Deng (鄧振中).