Agricultural exports to the 18 nations targeted by the New Southbound Policy for trade cooperation last year grew 9.3 percent, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday, calling the increase an encouraging sign for government efforts to diversify the nation’s markets.
Taiwan’s agricultural exports to the nations last year totaled US$1.43 billion, with Vietnam and Thailand the top markets at US$469 million and US$300 million respectively, the Department of International Affairs said.
Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia each bought about US$100 million of Taiwan’s agricultural exports, while Singapore purchased about US$94 million, it said.
The nation’s agricultural exports to New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore increased by 35.6 percent, 29.7 percent, 17.7 percent and 17.4 percent respectively, the department added.
The main exports were beef, pig skin, down and feathers, frozen tuna and moth orchids to Vietnam; frozen tuna and mackerel to Thailand; and frozen Japanese sea bass to Australia, showing that the fishery industry is important to Taiwan’s international trade, it said.
Pineapple cakes, crackers, instant noodles and other food products were highly competitive in Australia and Singapore, where moth orchids from Taiwan are also popular, the department said.
The council raised the profile of Taiwanese agricultural products and opened pathways to consumers by hosting events last year in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, department Director-General Hung Chung-hsiu (洪忠修) said.
The council also organized Taiwanese fruit and vegetable festivals at the three largest supermarkets in Singapore and continued expending significant resources on marketing the nation’s products, he said.
The council’s agricultural exports platform — which integrates services providing equipment, disease control and marketing capabilities — has begun operations, Hung said, adding that the aim is to increase agricultural produce by 10 percent each year.
The council welcomes farmers’ cooperatives to enroll in the platform, he said.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on