Trade has been the major engine for Taiwan's economic growth over the past decades. Throughout the years, the government has played a pivotal role by entrusting TAITRA to implement trade promotion activities, joining forces with private associations, and initiating special projects to develop global markets, maintain balance and stability in trade performance, and drive economic growth. The main trade promotion efforts are listed below:
Strengthening Trade Promotions
1. Developing Overseas Markets:
To help Taiwan's enterprises expanding their global reach, the BOFT selects key markets each year for enhanced trade promotions. The major promotional activities include organizing trade missions, participating in international trade shows, holding Taiwan Trade Fairs, and organizing large-scale procurement meetings in Taipei. TAITRA cooperates with overseas distributors that organize promotional activities for Taiwan products and helps manufacturers establishing overseas marketing channels. Customized projects are also implemented to attract potential buyers and deepen the relationships between the buyers and Taiwanese suppliers.
2. Providing Trade Information:
To keep Taiwan enterprises well-informed of the latest global trade and market information, the BOFT conducts surveys by market, industry, and focus topic. It also entrusts TAITRA to publish " Trade Insight Biweekly" and "Taiwan Products Magazine" and to run professional Trade Information Centers that provide Taiwan enterprises with specialized information and keep them informed of the global market trends. Taiwan's national B2B e-commerce portal "TaiwanTrade" (www.taiwantrade.com.tw ) provides Taiwan suppliers with trade information and business opportunities around the world.
3. Expanding Overseas Connections:
In addition to the MOEA's overseas branch offices, TAITRA has established branch offices in major cities around the world in order to collect and relay business information to local companies. Projects such as the International Market Development (IMD) plan and the Provisional Overseas Branch (POB) plan help Taiwanese companies by connecting them with potential customers and business opportunities.
4. Offering Trade Education:
To foster international marketing talent, the BOFT offers a full range of pre-job and on-the-job training programs, such as an International Business Administration Program (IBAP), International Trade Program, Post-Master's International Marketing Program, Post-Master's Business English Program, and a large variety of short-term training courses that meet the needs of local businesses.
Joining Forces with the Private Sector to Explore New Markets
As Taiwan's exports steadily grew through the years, marketing has also become more specialized. Every year since 1998, the BOFT has been working with over 150 industrial associations to expand the international markets of their members. Their main activities have been to organize group visits to foreign countries, attend trade shows, invite foreign trade missions to Taiwan, sponsor or participate in international economic and trade conferences, organize seminars on import/export business opportunities, provide training programs, and publish trade and economic information. Furthermore, since 2011, the BOFT has been assisting companies and firms to participate in overseas international exhibitions, in line with their individual export promotion needs. Since 2013, the BOFT has been implementing a project that provides incentives for companies for developing more diverse, innovative, and integrated marketing strategies that help to expand their overseas markets.
Specific Promotional Projects
I. The Project to Promote Most-Valued Products in Emerging Markets
The number of new middle-class consumers in emerging markets is big and quickly getting even bigger. To take advantage of the ensuing business opportunities, the MOEA has been implementing the second phase of the "Project to Promote Most-Valued Products in Emerging Markets" (MVP Project), which spans three years from 2013 through 2015. This project focuses on surveying the needs of final goods in emerging markets. These researches assist Taiwanese Firms to adjust their marketing strategies according to the local customers’ need.
II. Taiwan Industry Image Enhancement Project (IEP)
The Taiwan Industry Image Enhancement Project (IEP) aims to enhance the innovative image of Taiwanese industry, creating the country of origin effect and assisting Taiwanese branded companies in raising brand awareness and consumer preference, as well as increasing sales revenue and expanding the sale base in the targeted markets, including in Taiwan, the EU, USA, Japan, Mainland China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Russia, Brazil, UAE, Egypt, Myanmar, Turkey, and Mexico.
The IEP provides both B2B and B2C focused companies the perfect platform for value-added promotion through cross-platform media-links, O2O (online-to-offline), and a series of integrated marketing communication activities, which includes exhibition marketing, experiential marketing, channel marketing, media relations, advertising, celebrity endorsement, and agency fairs and digital marketing among other related activities.
IV. The Green Trade Promotion Project
The MOEA has launched a "Green Trade Promotion Project" to assist Taiwanese companies to respond to the rising global trend toward green business, specifically by helping them comply with international green standards, recycling regulations, and green procurement standards, and by assisting them to grasp green business opportunities. This project spans three years from 2014 to 2016. It is being carried out in line with three strategies: (1) offering consulting services; (2) enhancing Taiwan's international competitiveness; (3) holding promotional activities.
V. Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) Project
Taiwan became the 41st signatory to the plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) of the WTO on 15th July 2009. To help domestic firms obtain business opportunities through the GPA, the BOFT has been implementing the GPA Project since 2009. It aims to strengthen Taiwanese companies' capability to bid on government contracts abroad. It runs a website presenting the diverse opportunities, organizes seminars to enlarge participation and opportunities, invites foreign firms that win government's projects in other countries to visit Taiwan for purchasing Taiwanese products, and so on.
Due to the significant size and the number of business opportunities in the United States government procurement market, the GPA Project has been hiring experienced consulting companies to advise Taiwanese companies in obtaining GSA Schedule contracts since 2011. Starting in 2012, in order to encourage Taiwanese companies to participate in international tenders and help them acquire the level of qualification that is required for large bids, the GPA Project has been providing them professional consulting assistance to attend overseas tender briefing or to make related presentations.
Enhancing the Competitiveness of the MICE Industry
The meeting, incentive travel, convention, and exhibition (MICE) industry can create huge benefits for a nation's economy. It can bring growth for tourism and other collateral industries and help to raise the international profile of a country. Since 2006 the BOFT therefore drew up the "Taiwan Exhibition Competitiveness Enhancement Program", which includes four measures: (1) developing new trade shows and strengthening existing ones in accordance with industry and market needs; (2) bolstering incentive procurement programs for foreign buyers; (3) conducting promotional activities and campaigns for major exhibitions; and (4) improving hi-tech exhibition services and on-line promotions for Taiwan's trade shows. The BOFT subsequently launched another four-year "Taiwan's MICE Promotion Program" in January 2013, which are "Taiwan MICE Overall Implementation Project" and "Taiwan MICE Training and Certification Project." This program aims to make Taiwan well-known for its high-quality service MICE industry. The long-term objective is to improve service efficiency, enhance international visibility and competiveness of the MEET TAIWAN brand, and promote Taiwan as one of the best MICE destinations in the world.