TAIPEI: Taiwan's exports fell 2.3 percent last year due to sluggish overseas demand for mobile devices in the slowest growth rate since 2009, the government said on Monday.
Shipments in 2012 totalled $301.1 billion, down from $308.3 billion the previous year, as the island's overseas sales of mobile phones plunged $4.54 billion, or 42.8 percent, the ministry of finance said in a statement.
But it said there are signs that the export sector, the chief growth engine of the island economy, started to pick up from the fourth quarter.
Exports in the three months to December rose 2.5 percent to $77.51 billion, ending three consecutive quarterly export declines, it said.
In 2009 exports fell 20.3 percent from a year earlier to 203.7 billion dollars, while imports dropped 27.4 percent to 174.6 billion dollars, according to the ministry.