Showcasing the best of Taiwan
To encourage cultural exchanges and potential business trade between Taiwan and the Philippines, a delegation of more than 170 exhibitors and vendors from Taiwan presented over 4,500 products and services to the attendees at the Taiwan Expo 2017 held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
The organizers invited a famous Taiwan circus group and several music artists and bands to perform live during the Expo. The performances blended Western influences with traditional Taiwanese styles.
The three-day Expo hosted eight themed pavilions: City Marketing, Inno-Tech, Health and Lifestyle, Agricultural Tech, Study in Taiwan, Culture and Tourism, General Support, and the Taiwan Association Philippines.
Spearheaded by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Taiwan Association, Inc. Philippines (TAP), top manufacturers and suppliers gave the event visitors a chance to experience Taiwan without having to fly across the sea.
“Through this event, we wanted to forge a deeper bond with the Philippines, particularly in economic, talent, and cultural exchanges. The showcase of Taiwanese products and applications comes at an opportune time and amid calls for increased investments and creation of employment opportunities by presenting a bigger and better event,” TAP Secretary-General Robert Huang said during the event’s media launch in Intramuros, Manila, on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, according to James Chu, Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) deputy representative, the exhibition was designed based on current industry developments and market needs.
He underscored the Expo’s alignment with “Southbound Policy,” which aims to strengthen the Taiwanese economy and its relations with the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
“Taiwan and the Philippines have very close relationship in many areas. The Philippines is our 10th largest trading partner, and we are the 12th largest foreign investor in the Philippines,” said Chu further stating that Taiwan’s total investment in the Philippines reached $2.3 billion last year.
With this year’s theme “Experience Taiwan! Technology, Culture and Tourism,” the Expo emphasized Taiwan being at the forefront of numerous innovations on green technology, agricultural technology, e-commerce service and medical technique.
Apart from a product exhibition, the event also featured other activities, such as industry forum, cultural performances, and outdoor programs held at SM Mall of Asia. These events served as a platform for long-term and mutually beneficial relations between Taiwan and the Philippines.
“We are showcasing the best of Taiwan in this event. And we are expecting potential trade deals between the countries as it presents big business matching events,” Chu added.
At the opening of the Expo on Friday, TAITRA’s chairman James Huang officially announced that visa-free entry for Filipino tourist has been decided during an inter-agency meeting on Sept. 25. And once officially implemented, they are confident that the number of Filipino tourists visiting Taiwan would substantially increase.
Huang was also optimistic that this decision of the Taiwan government will further strengthen tourists’ ties citing that tourism business between the two countries soared to a record 70 percent to 80 percent in the past three years.
“We are hoping that the number of tourists between our two countries will double in the next three years,” he said.