We reached a trademark-exchange agreement recently with the Shanghai Tobacco Co that allows us to use the Long Life-trademark on the mainland and them to sell Chunghwa-brand cigarettes here. We estimate that total sales of Long Life cigarettes may reach 2 million cartons, worth NT$35 billion, next year.
TT: One of Taiwan Tobacco's missions is to upgrade its product image from a local flavor to an international brand. What challenges do you face in achieving that goal?
Hwang: First, we have to develop and market high-priced alcohol products. The highest priced wine now is about NT$1,200 a bottle, followed by a NT$1,000 for premium-grade Kaoliang liquor, with most other products priced several hundred NT dollars per bottle. I think we have the potential to develop quality wine products priced somewhere between NT$2,000 and NT$3,000 per bottle.
In addition, we may custom-make liquor for foreign businesses targeting international markets where Chinese reside, such as Los Angeles, Japan and Singapore.