Taiwan will substantially increase imports and exercise self-restraint in exports, if necessary, to help reduce its huge trade surplus with the United States and other countries, government officials said.
Chao Yao-tung, chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, said Taiwan would almost double imports of anti-pollution equipment to about $1.5 billion in 1988 from $830 million this year. Chao's deputy, Wang Chao-ming, said these imports, mainly from the United States and Europe, would rise annually and total more than $31 billion by 2000.
Taiwan's 1987 trade surplus is expected to reach a record $20 billion, compared to $15.6 billion last year, he said. More than 80% of the surplus will come from trade with the United States.
Chao said the government would introduce in January its deepest round of import tariff cuts, averaging 50%, on 3,575 items, covering among others, garments, textiles, shoes, toys, cameras, bicycles and sports equipment.