Taiwan approves issuing shopping coupons to spur economy

Business Materials 20 November 2008 09:32 (UTC +04:00)

Taiwan t approved issuing shopping coupons Thursday in its latest move to boost the economy which has been hit by the global financial crisis, dpa reported.

Chen Tain-jy, minister of the cabinet's Council for Economic Planning and Development, said Taiwan will start issuing shopping coupons on January 18, one week before the start of the Chinese New Year holidays.

Each resident will receive nine coupons worth a total of 3,600 Taiwan dollars (109 US dollars), and can use them on shopping or for other services like paying for a taxi ride, staying in a hotel or singing in a Karaoke parlour.

The shopping coupons must be used before the end of September 2009.

Issuing shopping coupons is Taiwan's latest move to stimulate the economy after having cut interest rates and bailing out ailing financial institutions.

The government hopes that by issuing shopping vouchers, which will cost the government 82 billion Taiwan dollars (2.48 billion US dollars), can raise Taiwan's GDP by 0.64 percentage points.

President Ma Ying-jeou called issuing shopping vouchers part of the government's 400 billion Taiwan dollar (12 billion US) rescue package.

"It is a special method used in special times (to tackle economic problems)," he said Thursday.

Shopping vouchers were issued by Japan to children and low- income senior citizens in 1999 as part of an economic recovery plan. Several other countries have also issued shopping vouchers or food stamps to stimulate consumer spending in an effort to revitalize the economy.