China is planning to purchase US$5.5 billion worth of flat panels from Taiwan this year, the head of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) said in Beijing on Saturday.
Bai Weimin (白為民), deputy director of China Video Industry Association, said her members were planning to place the flat-panel order this year, TAITRA chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said.
In 2009 and last year, the association delegations placed US$4.3 billion and US$5.3 billion worth of flat-panel orders respectively.
Bai said the association would visit again in June and will co-sponsor a symposium on smart TVs to discuss topics such as development of the product on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and its specifications, promotion and marketing.
China is promoting smart TVs, which are expected to dominate its color TV market this year, Bai said. The demand for color TVs in China this year will be 60 million sets, and by 2014 the number is expected to reach 150 million, she said.
Wang said he also paid a call on Wang Yi (王毅), director of the Chinese State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office. They both expressed satisfaction with the volume of orders placed by Chinese delegations in the past few years, he said.
Starting in June, TAITRA is scheduled to hold monthly trade fairs in several Chinese cities, including Shenyang, Tianjing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan and Chongqing to promote “Taiwan’s exquisite products,” he said.
It will also hold fairs in Beijing and Shanghai next year, he said.
Wang said he also called on Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaoping (蔣耀平) and invited him to visit Taiwan to buy products included in the “early harvest” list under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed last year.
“Jiang was pleased to accept the invitation, and will come in the early half of this year if possible,” Wang said.
Under ECFA, 539 Taiwanese items and 267 Chinese items are eligible for immediate tariff cuts.