An informal Taiwan trade center in Shanghai will be the first in China to be formally designated a Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 貿協) office, starting in early April, an official with the center said on Saturday.
TAITRA, a trade promotion organization sponsored by the government, currently has mostly one-man centers in China to promote trade, but they have yet to be designated TAITRA offices, and TAITRA’s Shanghai office will be the first government organization from China or Taiwan to establish a formal office.
TAITRA chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) will attend the opening ceremony of the Shanghai office while in the city to take part in the Taiwan Trade Fair, which is scheduled to run from April 5 to April 8, the official said.
The trade center in Shanghai is the first of six centers in China that plan to apply for official TAITRA status. The new office will add one Taiwanese staffer and two people from Shanghai, the -official said.
The moves come after Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen--shiang (施顏祥) on Jan. 31 unveiled a plan to upgrade six out of 10 trade centers in China into TAITRA offices, with others to be expanded including those in Wuhan, Beijing and Guangzhou.
The centers are being given more formal billing and expanded, in support of TAITRA’s plan to add services to assist Taiwanese businesses in China, including providing better trade promotion support and collecting more -information on local markets and customs.
Taiwan has fewer trade offices in China than South Korea or Japan, and its offices are smaller compared with those of its regional rivals, which have at least 30 employees per office.
Shih said on Jan. 17 that as cross-strait relations improve, Chinese trade organizations, such as the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade or the Association of Economy and Trade Across Taiwan Straits, could also set up offices in Taiwan.