Wed, Mar 16, 2005 - Page 11 News List

More exhibition space needed, President Chen says

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Visitors walk past some of the 2,664 booths that 642 exhibitors have put up at the Taipei International Machine Tool Show, which opened yesterday in Exhibition Halls I, II and III at the Taipei World Trade Center. The show runs through March 20.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Taiwan must speed up building large-scale international exhibition venues to boost its competitiveness since the popular Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall faces saturation, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

"The [Taipei] World Trade Center has been one of the most frequently used exhibition centers in the world. But its available space and surrounding traffic conditions have been overly saturated," Chen said during an opening speech at this year's Taipei International Machine Tool Show.

Chen highlighted the urgent need to build large venues for international exhibitions so that Taiwan's exhibition industry will garner more room for growth and provide better services to other industries.

Praising the machine tools sector as the mother of all industries, Chen said that the nation's total export value of machinery jumped a staggering 21 percent from the previous year to stand at US$12.3 billion, which placed Taiwan fourth in the world -- after Germany, Japan and Italy.

The six-day exhibition kicked off yesterday and will wrap up this coming Sunday. The fair features 642 exhibitors who will occupy 2,664 booths at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Halls I, II and III.

The co-organizer, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會), expects to draw over 60,000 visitors, including 3,000 foreign buyers, to the nation's largest exhibition ever. The event attracted more than 2,700 people on its first day yesterday.

The show is open to the public in the afternoon between March 15 and March 18, as well as the whole day during the last two days. The entry fee is NT$200.

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