Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Taipei CYCLE show pedals into high-gear

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Visitors look at bicycle wheels on display at the Taipei International Cycle Show at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Nangang Exhibition Hall yesterday. The hall is full to capacity with 2,888 booths occupied. The show opened yesterday and runs through Friday.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FONG, TAIPEI TIMES

The double-digit growth in Taiwan’s bicycle export volume, value and average selling price last year has reinforced the country as one of world’s leading bike exporters, an industry expert said yesterday.

Last year, Taiwan exported 5.4 million bicycles, an increase of 13.7 percent from 2007, while the value of bicycle exports surged 31.6 percent to reach US$1.39 billion, statistics showed.

“The average selling price of Taiwan-exported bicycles last year was US$256.92, 15.78 percent growth from US$221.91 in 2007, which shows that the nation’s bicycle makers have been moving toward innovation and value-added products,” Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association chairman Yang Ying-ming (楊銀明) said at the opening ceremony for this year’s Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei CYCLE).

Taipei CYCLE, which began yesterday at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, is the largest bicycle show in Asia and third-largest in the world.

Unlike other international bicycle trade shows, Yang said Taipei CYCLE mainly showcases high-end bicycles, which explained why so many international buyers came here to look at the latest products.

Yang said Taiwan now dominates the mid- to high-end segment of the world’s bicycle market because its makers have the capability of producing large numbers of bicycles by setting up manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Europe. Moreover, Taiwanese bicycle makers managed to dominate global sales channels through mergers and acquisitions, he said.

“The bicycle industry is one of the few traditional industries in Taiwan that has good output volume, production technology, brand and sales channel,” Yang said. “The industry chain and history of Taiwan’s bicycle industry can serve as a model for other traditional industries.”

Yang also lauded the Cabinet’s decision on Jan. 19 to approve the Sports Affairs Council’s plan to invest NT$4 billion (US$116.69 million) in building a nationwide network of bike paths, which he said would help boost the bicycle tourism market in Taiwan.

This year’s Taipei CYCLE is the largest in the show’s 22-year history, with a total of 762 domestic and international suppliers using 2,888 booths to showcase their latest products, the event’s organizer said.

“The numbers of booths and international buyers have both reached historic highs this year,” Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said at the opening ceremony. “The bicycle industry is obviously not affected by the financial crisis.”

A projected 5,000 international buyers are expected to attend the show, TAITRA estimated. The show attracted 185 international suppliers from 32 countries and 577 domestic suppliers.

Taipei Cycle ends on Friday. The show is open to professional buyers only from Monday until tomorrow, and to buyers and the public on Friday. Admission is NT$200 each.

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