The Hsinchu City Government yesterday won a NT$458.9 million (US$14.43 million) bid to host the Shanghai World Expo’s Taiwan Pavilion after it is dismantled at the end of next month, outbidding the Miaoli County Government and a Taichung-based enterprise, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) said.
The high minimum bid price of NT$416.9 million scared away many who had expressed interest in participating in the bidding, including the Taipei County and the Taichung City governments and some private organizations, leaving only three bidders who submitted tenders.
“[Despite the low participation], we are very pleased with the winning bid price,” TAITRA president and chief executive Chao Yuen-chuan (趙永全) said, adding that it would help cover the cost of building the pavilion, which was about NT$1.1 billion.
Chao told the Taipei Times that apart from NT$770 million raised from the private sector, TAITRA still had a funding gap of about NT$330 million, which would be covered by the proceeds from the sale of the pavilion.
The pavilion is scheduled to be rebuilt next year on a five-hectare plot of land owned by the Hsinchu City Government at Taiwan Fertilizer Co’s (台肥) No. 5 factory, part of a yet-to-be-built technological and business complex, a Hsinchu City Government official said.
“The complex is close to the Hsinchu Science Park and Freeway No. 1 and it will be developed into a convention and exhibition center using private investment,” Wu Tsung-chi (吳宗錤), director of the city’s Department of Economic Development, told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference.
Chao said by telephone that the Hsinchu City Government would have to spend an extra NT$330 million dismantling the pavilion and shipping the materials back to Taiwan on top of NT$458.9 million it bid for the sky lantern-shaped structure. Nevertheless, the Taiwan Pavilion would generate between eight and 10 times the bidding price after it has been reconstructed, he said, adding that it would bring in tremendous business opportunities of up to NT$6 billion to the local area.
The winning bidder also receives about NT$200 million in hardware and software from the pavilion and the right to use its logo, estimated to be valued at between NT$620 billion and NT$720 billion, TAITRA said.
Real estate developer Haur Luen Enterprise Co (壕錀企業), the only bidder from the private sector in yesterday’s auction, said it would have better executed the reconstruction and marketing of the pavilion than the public sector, but the price had been a bit too high.
“It would have been better if the price had been lower,” said David Liao (廖俊清), president of Haur Luen, which bid NT$426.9 million, NT$32 million lower than the amount offered by the Hsinchu City Government.
Liao told the Taipei Times he didn’t rule out cooperating with the Hsinchu City Government on the rebuilding of the pavilion.