Group photo from the New Southbound Market Economic and Trends Forum 2020 opening ceremony with Wen-Rong TAI, Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs (center left), Walter Yeh, President & CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (center right), Taiwan’s Representatives to New Southbound Countries (9 countries) and experts.
In order to continue assisting Taiwanese traders interested in expanding into the New Southbound markets share information and exchange experiences, thereby pooling marketing capacities and enhancing exports, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry Economic Affairs commissioned the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to hold the third annual New Southbound Market Networking event on 20 February 2020 at the Taipei International Convention Center. The networking event was held with the New Southbound Market Economic and Trends Forum 2020, where the theme centered around the slogan, “Beyond Taiwan’s Vision, Deep into Global Linkages”.
The event this year invited experts and traders from Japan, Thailand and Taiwan to share their views on entering New Southbound markets. They covered the three major aspects, “New Trends, New E-commerce and New Relationships”, which brought both breadth and width to the exchanges. A total of 116 business operators and Taiwan’s representatives in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and Australia attended. The event went live on Webinar, with 253 viewers joining online.
At the forum, seasoned economist at the Asian Investigation Department of MIZUHO, Mr. Koji Sako, pointed out that the economy of ASEAN countries and India are promising in the short-term, but will polarize in the mid- to long-term. Thailand and Malaysia, the higher income countries in ASEAN, have come into the spotlight as they have turned into destinations for transfers of China’s technology industries. Both countries have launched 4.0 policies, which will be key to solving the middle income trap problem and low economic growth. Moderately developed countries, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, have investors locking in on their demographic dividends and consumer markets. However, their domestic current account deficits pose a high overall economic risk. As for the rising stars, Myanmar and Cambodia, businesses should place focus on their diplomatic relation developments. The dragon of South Asia, India, has developmental potential in the mid- to long-term, but businesses there should be aware of the risks of domestic non-performing loans.
Furthermore, General Manager of PChome Thai, Mr. Wen-Hsiung TSAI, stated that 77% of commodities on Thailand’s mainstream e-commerce platform are from abroad, with the majority being from China. PChome Thai on the other hand is a Taiwanese brand that has a reputation for high quality, overseas and special merchandise. Traders entering the Thai market must select e-commerce platform(s) consistent with their product definition.
Additionally, General Manager of Caesar Bathroom, Mr. Wei-Zhi Chen, mentioned that businesses entering the Vietnamese market should understand local customs, investment regulations such as for taxation, and labor, and rewards systems. Last but not least, Manager of CTCI, Mr. Gao-Ray LIU, analogized India to a slow-moving elephant, and suggested for businesses to put aside the Taiwanese mind set and operate on the India Market with new thinking.
The BOFT will continue these networking events together with TAITRA to strengthen information sharing and exchanges so as to help Taiwanese businesses combine their marketing capacities, steadily take root in New Southbound markets and create substantive economic momentum for Taiwan.