The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) said that to boost the nation’s external trade it plans to focus on emerging markets this year because they are the main drivers of the global economy.
Southeast and South Asian nations will be given high priority, the government-backed trade body said in a statement.
Having already established seven trade offices in the 10 member states of ASEAN, the council said it plans to focus on Laos, Brunei, and Cambodia this year, as well as Pakistan, with which it hopes to sign a free-trade pact through ASEAN.
“We would like to fill the remaining gap, setting up offices in all member states,” TAITRA chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said at a year-end press conference.
As the government is eager to participate in regional economic integration, maintaining good relations with these countries “can be of great help,” Wang said.
Asked if there was a timetable for the new offices, Wang said there was not, but added that the council is “making great efforts,” especially in countries where even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have a representative office.
TAITRA president and chief executive officer Peter Huang (黃文榮) said that ASEAN has a total population of 600 million people and represents a huge market for the nation’s exports.
Last year alone, the council held 105 of its 230 overseas promotional events in emerging markets, and because they are expected to continue to grow this year, they are to remain important targets for Taiwan, Huang said.
The trade promoter confirmed plans to set up offices this year in China’s Chengdu and Dalian, and it also expects to host trade promotion events in 15 cities across 11 countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America.