Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Executive Yuan approves billions for COA promotion

CNA , TAIPEI

The Executive Yuan has recently approved a program worth more than NT$2 billion submitted by the Council of Agriculture (COA) with the aim of promoting Taiwan agricultural goods in the international market through image building.

After various intensive meetings called by the Council for Economic Planning and Development with relevant government agencies and farmers' associations, the Executive Yuan granted its approval to the COA promotion program with a value of NT$2.253 billion (US$66.26 million), which will be implemented over a three-year period starting next year.

The money will be spent on helping to advocate large and professional agriculture-related sectors and to create international brandnames and images for high-quality agricultural and fishery produce from Taiwan. NT$604 million will be earmarked for the first year, with NT$774 million and NT$875 million budgeted for the second and third years, respectively.

Under the guidelines of the program, agricultural exports and product prices are expected to grow steadily, helping to increase earnings for local farmers and fishermen, according to Executive Yuan officials.

The promotional package is expected to help expand Taiwan's agricultural and fishery exports by at least NT$6.5 billion in value for the three-year period, they added.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) issued instructions at a national agricultural meeting in March that the agriculture sector should seek to improve its quality and marketing distribution.

Amid fierce global competition, Taiwan should develop value-added high-caliber produce and set up large-scale, professional and export-oriented special agricultural zones to help win a larger slice of the international market for local produce, he said.

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said the government hopes to build sustainable development for the agriculture through the program, which is designed to tackle the world trends of liberalization and globalization. He said the domestic industry should take the initiative based on market orientation and special distribution networks to explore the world markets.

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