Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Farmers clinch NT$2.37bn of export orders in Japan

SECOND-LARGEST MARKET:Agricultural exports to Japan totaled US$920 million last year and they are expected to reach US$1 billion this year, Minister Chen Chi-chung said

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung, center, and other officals hold up local fruit and vegetables at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

A national delegation of farmers has secured more than NT$2.37 billion (US$76.69 million) of orders at Foodex Japan, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Chen has been involved in a spat with Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) about promoting exports since a disagreement in 2017, when the council asked Han to resign from his post as general manager at Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co (台北農產運銷公司).

The two have also bickered about agricultural issues since Han became mayor on Dec. 25 last year.

The council on Tuesday led a delegation of more than 140 to Foodex Japan, which ended yesterday, and 22 groups exhibiting at the council’s pavilion secured NT$2.37 billion of orders as of Thursday, Chen said.

That figure would be higher if the orders secured by other Taiwanese exhibitors outside the pavilion are added, he added.

Asked by reporters if the council has become more proactive since the dispute with Han, Chen said the achievement was the result of the joint efforts of Taiwanese businesses and government agencies, and that the council is more concerned about farmers making money than taking credit for the achievement.

Among the orders secured in Japan, Kaohsiung-based Chishan Association of Fruits and Vegetables Distribution signed a three-year contract to sell 9,000 tonnes of bananas to Wismettac Asian Foods Inc, he said.

Mitagri Co (台農發) signed a memorandum of understanding with Funasho Shoji Co for an order of 1,000 tonnes of bananas, he added.

Fisheries groups secured orders totaling NT$1.8 billion, involving the export of tuna, bream, striped bass and Sakura shrimps, Chen said.

The nation’s agricultural exports to Japan totaled US$920 million last year and they are expected to reach US$1 billion this year, Chen said, adding that Japan is the second-largest importer of Taiwanese agricultural products after the US.

Meanwhile, a Japanese firm expressed its intention to invest in cooling and logistics systems for agricultural products in Taiwan, although its identity cannot be revealed at present, Chen said.

The council is also discussing agricultural exports with Singapore, he said.

“It is not only about trade,” as the high quality demanded in Japan means Taiwan has to upgrade its production and management methods, Chen said, expressing his hope that more Taiwanese products would be sold in Japan during next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics.

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