China minister arrives
China’s Minister of Science and Technology, Wan Gang (萬鋼), is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan today to attend a cross-strait science and technology forum. Wan is to lead a delegation of more than 100 people. The two-day forum, slated to open Nov. 25, is jointly organized by Taiwan’s KT Li Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology and the Cross-Straits Science and Technology Exchange Center under China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. During his trip, Wan is to visit Taiwan’s leading research institute, Academia Sinica, as well as Delta Electronics Inc, the Hsinchu Science Park, National Tsing Hua University, National Taiwan University and the Industrial Technology Research Institute before returning to China on Thursday.
Pig pavilion features in expo
The upcoming Yunlin Agriculture Expo is to feature a unique pavilion that is built in the shape of a pig. The “Happy Farm” pavilion — 10m high, 18m wide and 34m long — is by far the nation’s largest pig-shaped building, according to the Yunlin County government that is organizing the event. The exterior of the structure is made of bamboo weave, with entrances through the “pig’s nostrils.” The interior is decorated with various cute animals. Tsai Keng-yu a section chief at the county government’s Agriculture Department, said the pavilion was designed especially for children, with the hope of changing stereotypical impressions of farms as hot, dirty places. The exhibition is scheduled to open Dec. 25 and run through March 6.
Taiwan cafe’s new US store
Taiwan’s 85?C Bakery Cafe on Friday opened its second new store in a week in California, as the chain expects to speed up its pace of setting up new operations in the US market. The latest store — the chain’s sixth in the US — is located in Gardena in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Stephanie Peng, a manager of 85?C Bakery Cafe’s US operations, said 85?C Bakery Cafe, which expanded into the US in 2008, plans to open 15 new stores next year. In Taiwan, 85?C Bakery has over 700 outlets. Besides the US market, the chain has also expanded into China and Australia, according to its Web site.
APEC helps 540,000 people
A digital project initiated by Taiwan at the 2003 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting has helped some 540,000 people in various countries, said Tom Chou (周台竹), director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of International Organizations. Since 2004, Taiwan has helped set up APEC Digital Opportunity Centers (ADOCs) in 10 APEC countries, namely Peru, Chile, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Malaysia, Russia and Papua New Guinea, Chou said. Aimed at bridging the digital divide in those countries, the ADOC project has provided training to groups such as women and children to improve their capability in the field of information and communications technology, he said, adding that Taiwan’s commitment to the project has also been beneficial to local businesses, as it offers Taiwanese IT companies an opportunity to work with ADOC members. Taiwan will hold an international conference next year to mark the 10th anniversary of the ADOC initiative and review the achievements of the project since its implementation, Chou said.