A major international trade fair was held yesterday in Taipei, aimed at attracting record numbers of export orders from emerging markets and Europe, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 貿協) said.
With 566 foreign buyers from 59 countries registered to attend, the “Sourcing Taiwan” trade fair was scheduled to host more than 10,000 one-on-one meetings for local firms, according to TAITRA, which organized the event.
The fair was expected to generate combined export orders of more than US$4 billion (NT$118 billion), officials said.
Estimated orders were only slightly higher than last year’s record of US$4.02 billion, because the economic climate had deteriorated this year, TAITRA chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said at the event’s opening ceremony.
Chinese buyers accounted for 30 percent of this year’s total registered buyers — the biggest single-country showing — most of whom were particularly interested in Taiwan’s electronics, information and communications technology and energy-saving products, Wang said.
He added that another two Chinese business delegations led by government vice ministers would visit Taiwan in June or July to purchase high-end components, machine tools, automobile electronics, cloud computing and LED products produced in Taiwan.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said at the ceremony that the average annual growth in Taiwan’s trade with emerging markets was more than 20 percent last year, with Singapore at 39.6 percent, Russia at 40.5 percent and South Africa at 65.9 percent.
Although Taiwan’s trade with China and Hong Kong grew only 8.1 percent last year, trade between Taiwan and China exceeded US$160 billion in that period, Ma said.
“We cannot put no eggs into the world’s largest basket [China],” the president said, adding that the government would continue to focus on the Chinese market while exploring other emerging market possibilities.
Ma said the government planned to build Taiwan into a global headquarters for Taiwanese companies and a regional headquarters for foreign companies, which would place the nation in an excellent position to join a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) within 10 years. It is hoped that the TPP will be a free-trade agreement that includes as its members countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim.