Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - Page 12 News List

TAITRA to expand expo south, in line with policy

TRADE ROUTES:Taiwan is eyeing the US$100m certified halal exports market into Malaysia and the Middle East, promoting the nation’s bubble tea to Muslim consumers

By Lauly Li

Employees work at a bubble tea booth yesterday at the Taiwan Expo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times

Staff reporter, in Kuala Lumpur

Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) plans to extend the Taiwan Expo to Thailand and India next year in a bid to help Taiwanese manufacturers tap into more southbound markets, TAITRA chairman James Huang (黃志芳) said yesterday.

“The Taiwan Expo has served as an effective platform for companies from a wide range of industries to showcase their products and total solutions in regional markets,” Huang told a news conference after the exhibition’s opening ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

TAITRA representatives in regional markets would continue to assist Taiwanese firms with marketing and communicating with potential business partners after the exhibition finishes, Huang said.

The business-to-business (B2B) Taiwan Expo, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and organized by TAITRA, is part of the government’s New Southbound Policy, which aims to increase the presence of Taiwanese firms in ASEAN nations, the sub-continent, Australia and New Zealand.

The exhibition in Kuala Lumpur is the fourth Taiwin Expo this year, following fairs held in Indonesia in May, Vietnam in July and the Philippines in September.

TAITRA invited 180 Taiwanese companies from eight industries, including cosmetics, solar power and food and beverage to participate in the expo in Malaysia.

TAITRA set up a pavilion to promote Taiwan’s halal-certified products, including bubble milk tea, eyeing Malaysia’s Muslim population, which accounts for 64 percent, or 17.13 million, of the country’s total population, Huang said.

TAITRA sees Malaysia as a gateway for Taiwanese companies to tap into Middle Eastern markets, with halal product exports from Malaysia to the Middle East and other ASEAN nations reaching 42 billion ringgit (US$99.98 million) last year, he said.

When asked to comment on the less than 50 percent budget execution rate this year estimated by the New Southbound Policy Office (NSPO), Huang said that the public should not examine the progress of the policy based on the budget execution rate.

Concern about the effectiveness of policy execution has risen since the Presidential Office on Oct. 22 said this year’s budget for the NSPO is NT$1.95 million, with the government forecasting that the budget execution rate would be between 40 percent and 50 percent.

“The point of the policy was never about how much of its budget is spent, but to see how to maximize the limited resources we have to achieve the goal,” Huang said.

TAITRA’s budget related to the policy was allocated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the budget execution rate would be 100 percent this year, he added.

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