Singapore drops requirement
Starting on March 1, exporters of certain beverage and food items will no longer be required by Singapore to provide official documentation that their products are plasticizer-free, the Department of Health said yesterday. Following a similar decision by China on Jan. 5, Singapore will exempt Taiwanese firms from providing certification for five categories of exports — sports drinks, juice, tea drinks, fruit jams or syrups, and tablets or powders — the Food and Drug Administration said. Singapore and China were among the few countries in the region, including Hong Kong and South Korea, that required Taiwanese firms to provide plasticizer-free certification in the five categories after it was reported in May last year that some locally produced items contained industrial plasticizers.
Souvenir show scheduled
The country’s first-ever souvenir show is scheduled to begin in late April in an attempt to boost tourism and tourism-related industries, the event’s organizers said yesterday. The four-day show will feature numerous gifts and food items that are manufactured or produced locally, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council said in a statement. The council said it hoped the show would help local souvenir makers expand to the international market, especially in places where Mandarin is widely spoken. The show, in collaboration with local governments, has interest from attracted more than 150 local exhibitors, who would occupy almost 300 booths. In addition to displays featuring a wide array of food products and stationery items, one-on-one procurement meetings will also be held on-site, the council said. The show will help the country’s tourism industry to help drive the economy with some added value, the organizers said, adding that souvenirs are items that tourists typically enjoy to take home to remember their lovely memories. The show will run between April 19 and April 22 at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall 1, the council said.
Liao appointed AEAR head
Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) assumed the position of chairman of the Association of East Asian Relations (AEAR) yesterday and vowed to do his best to improve Taiwan-Japan relations. Liao, who most recently served as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) secretary-general, said he would commit himself to the position and hold consultations in a wide range of fields to reinforce the relationship between the two countries. He also praised the contributions made by his predecessor, Peng Run-tsu (彭榮次). The AEAR has handled Taipei’s relations with Tokyo since formal diplomatic ties were severed more than 30 years ago.
Clean by-election urged
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called for a clean election in today’s by-election for the township chief of Huatan (花壇) in Changhua County — the third election of its kind in two years. DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) urged judicial officials to keep an eye out for vote-buying in the region, which was why results of the previous two Huatan Township elections had been nullified. “Inactive investigation would be an encouragement of vote buying and detrimental to Taiwan’s democracy,” Lin told a press conference, adding that the party is confident of victory if the election is conducted fairly.