A Council of Agriculture-led delegation is to travel to Moscow on Wednesday next week to take part in a two-day promotion of Taiwanese agricultural products.
Russia imports more than US$28 billion in agricultural produce, while yam exports to Russia could reach NT$300 per kilogram, the council said.
The quality of Taiwanese produce is undeniable, and while China, the US and Japan would remain the major export destinations for the nation’s agricultural products, the council is ready to develop a new market in Russia, as much of the produce grown in Taiwan is not found there, council Deputy Minister Chen Tien-shou (陳添壽) said.
Department of West Asian and African Affairs Director Ali Yang (楊心怡) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that the number of Russian tourists visiting Taiwan last year increased by 85 percent, or 10,000 individuals, from 2017.
MOFA Commonwealth of Independent States Section Director Chao Shih-hsuan (趙世絢) said that more than 8,000 Russian tourists arrived in the first half of the year, and more are expected before the end of the year.
Russian commercial representatives were impressed with Taiwanese produce and enjoyed mangoes, wax apples and pineapples, Yang said.
They were able to take some mangoes with them when they returned home, after they were cleared by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, she said.
Russians really likes mangoes, council Department of International Affairs section official Tang Shu-hua (唐淑華) said.
Russia’s predominate crop is potatoes, largely due to that nation’s climate, and the majority of the fruits and vegetables available there are imported, Tang said.
Russia imported US$28 billion in agricultural produce in 2017, while fruit imports last year reached US$5 billion, Tang said.
There are buyers even when retail prices for imported sweet potatoes reach NT$300 per kilogram, while a cluster of Taiwanese grapes has sold for NT$6,000, showing that Russia is a promising market, Tang added.
Local agricultural unions said that they support the delegation’s trip, as there could be a market in Russia in the fall for Taiwanese cabbage.
Orchid growers are also hoping to develop a direct export market in Russia for moth orchids.
At present, Taiwanese moth orchids are sent to Netherlands and then exported to Russia, Taiwan Floriculture Exports Association executive director Chuang Ping-huang (莊炳湟) said.
Since such orchids are a high-value product, growers could earn a higher revenue if they could be shipped directly to Russia, Chuang said.
Chang Shu-yi (張淑逸), an official with the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Foreign Trade, said that about 20 Russian importers of tea, coffee and agricultural produce have been invited to next week’s promotion.
The bureau was also planning to invite representatives of Russian chain supermarkets to visit Taiwan in October, Chang said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each