Group photo from the TAIWAN EXPO 2019 opening ceremony with Walter Yeh, President & CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (3rd from right) and Zhi-Fang HUANG, Chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (center).
To promote the partnership and people-to-people trade exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry Economic Affairs cooperated again with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to hold the TAIWAN EXPO from 8 to 9 November. Following the success of the Expo in Manila in 2017, this year’s Expo was held in the southern economic hub of the Philippines, Davao. Combining forces from the Tourism Bureau, the Kaohsiung City Government and a delegation of 100 Taiwanese business representatives, 100 booths were exhibited under the five main themes of “Smart City”, “Agriculture & Fishery Technology”, “Taiwan Healthcare”, “Taiwan Lifestyle” and “Tour Taiwan”. The event also included a series of industrial forums and business-matching meetings to present Taiwan’s Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) culture and industrial power to the local people. The two-day event attracted over 10,000 visitors, helping more locals get to know Taiwan.
On 8 November, guests including Pei-Yung SHIU, Taiwan’s Representative to the Philippines, representatives from the Taiwan Association in the Philippines, Angelito Banayo, the Executive Vice President of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office/Philippine Representative Office in Taiwan (MECO), Asec. Leira Buan, the Excutive Vice President of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Governor of Davao del Sur, Hon. Douglas R.A Cagas, Governor of Davao del Norte, Hon. Edwin I. Jubahib, and Ms. April Marie Dayap, Director of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center were present at the grand opening ceremony at SMX Convention Center, Davao.
Following the severe earthquake and the serious damages to the area in Mindanao, the Philippines one week ago, TAITRA communicated with local Taiwanese businesses in the first instance to collect relief supplies. Chairman Zhi-Fang HUANG of TAITRA took the opportunity of the opening ceremony to pass on donations to the Davao City Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) and sang “We Are The World” with the Taiwanese performers to convey the spirit of “one family, one team” between Taiwan and the Philippines. The move not only earned warm praise from those present, but also deepened the friendship between Taiwan and the Philippines.
The Expo continued the theme combining the Taiwan butterfly and the Philippine eagle to embody the harmony, prosperity and win-win relationship between the two countries. The event took into account local market demands and industry trends in the planning of exhibition content. Taiwan shared experience as well as technology and smart solutions at the expo which culminated in the following tangible outcomes:
1. Taiwan’s bubble tea pavilion attracted strong interest from local small and medium sized beverage stores, who enquired on imports of ingredients and peripheral products, as well as bottled bubble tea.
2. The Philippines Technology Institute said that Taiwan’s AI-integrated robots have potential in serving libraries helping guests search for books, navigate, and select courses. Additionally, local restaurant chains were enthusiastic in discussing using robots as waiters.
3. In the Taiwan cultural and creative pavilion, products integrated culture and creation, fashion, lifestyle, and technology elements. Local vendors planned on purchasing animal-shaped hand tools as a VIP Christmas gifts for this year.
4. For healthcare, the “Dental implant navigation technology” exhibit led by the Kaohsiung Government City showcased precise dental positioning when drilling without having to cut open the gum, which highly impressed visitors. Moreover, Manila Hospital signed an MOU with a well-known Taiwanese hospital on postoperative care in Taiwan and physician training cooperation and exchange.
The TAIWAN EXPO 2019 in the Philippines is the 10th New Southbound Policy city the expo has been held. Next year, the expo will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Bandung, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Mumbai, India; and Bangkok, Thailand, to continue spearheading Taiwanese traders in promoting our outstanding domestic industries.