Mon, Sep 19, 2005 - Page 10 News List

TAITRA hopes to lift flower exports with new seminar

CNA , TAIPEI

The Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) will sponsor a seminar on Asian horticultural trade opportunities today as part of its efforts to boost the nation's flower exports, a TAITRA official said yesterday.

The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office (NTIO), which represents Dutch interests in Taipei in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, has assisted in organizing the seminar, the official said.

According to TAITRA tallies, Taiwan exported US$14.88 million worth of flowers last year, while imports reached US$57.95 million. The gap indicates that there is still ample room for local florists to promote overseas sales, the official said.

Council of Agriculture statistics showed that butterfly orchids are Taiwan's the major flower export, with shipments valued at US$23.39 million last year, mainly to Japan, the US, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and China.

Noting that the Netherlands has been one of the world's major flower exporters, the official said TAITRA has invited major Dutch horticultural companies and agricultural officials to attend the seminar to offer counseling.

Topics to be addressed will include the opportunity for Taiwan to become an Asia-Pacific floral trade center, the current state and future prospects for Taiwan's orchid exports and the feasibility of Taiwan using the Netherlands as a springboard to enter the European horticultural market, the official said.

Dutch horticultural companies sending representatives to the seminar will include Anthura BV, Bunnik Plants and Geest Orchideeen. Several officials from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture will also travel to Taiwan to attend the meeting.

In addition to attending the conference, the Dutch visitors will visit major horticultural centers to explore possible trade or joint-venture deals.

According to official tallies, Taiwan has 12,579 hectares of land dedicated to flower production with an annual output of US$380 million.

Orchids alone account for about US$73.94 million. Major flower farms are concentrated in Changhua, Nantou and Chiayi counties.

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