In order to pro-actively develop markets in New Southbound Policy countries, the Council of Agriculture (COA) organized agricultural pavilion to participate in the “Taiwan Expo 2017” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from November 9 through 11. Based on the special needs of the local agricultural environment, the COA set up a display area to show the high-level agricultural technologies of Taiwan, such as bio-pesticides, microbial fertilizers, machinery, and facilities. The COA also selected outstanding agribusinesses and food processing companies to participate in the Expo, to explore the commercial opportunities in the Halal market in Malaysia and ASEAN.
Demographic dividends of Malaysia and Halal commercial opportunities
Malaysia has a population of 30 million people, making it the fourth most populous economic entity in ASEAN, behind only Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The generous demographic dividends and its steadily growing consumption capabilities make it become an attractive market for other countries.
Moreover, 60% of the people in Malaysia are Muslim, and the country plays an important role in the spread of Halal foods around the world. In recent years the Malaysian government has pro-actively guided Halal foods to upgrade from being a primary industry to being a high-value-added secondary or tertiary industry. The COA recognized that the promising prospect of Malaysia has great cooperative commercial opportunities and market potential, and thus gladly participated in the “Taiwan Expo 2017” in Malaysia, hoping to lead the way for companies to penetrate into the local market in Malaysia and global food market supply chains.
Expanding diversified sales channels for Taiwan agriproducts
The COA explains that, in order to promote the image of Taiwan agriproducts and expand export markets in New Southbound Policy countries, the COA has already participated in two other “Taiwan Expo 2017” events organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), one in Jakarta, Indonesia (May 12 through 14), and the other in Manila, the Philippines (from September 29 through October 1). The Taiwan Expos organized by TAITRA take into account both B2B and B2C approaches. The atmosphere at the venues is lively, and there are many inquiries about premium farm, fisheries, and animal husbandry products from Taiwan. The COA, through guiding participation by firms in these expos, assists in expanding diversified sales channels. Moreover, the visits that the COA arranges to sales channels before and after the expos are helpful to Taiwanese firms in entering local markets and collecting information about business conditions. Therefore, many firms are willing to participate in the COA’s plans to expand markets in New Southbound Policy countries and work together to develop commercial opportunities in new markets.
The COA states that, in order to assist in connecting Taiwan agriculture products with commercial opportunities in the Halal market, the COA will, taking important Muslim markets as the target, do in-depth surveys of the procedures for entering the target markets, customs procedures, inspection and quarantine regulations, and norms for Halal certification. The COA will also assist Taiwan businesses with precise matchmaking with overseas importers and in entering sales channels, in order to effectively raise the visibility and export achievements of Taiwan agriproducts overseas.
Dave Lin, president of the Taipei Investors’ Association in Malaysia (second from right), honorary president Eric S. Y. Tu (third from right), and vice-president James Wei (second from left) and other guests visited the Taiwan Agricultural Pavilion, where they expressed approbation of the technology and outstanding agribusinesses exhibited there.
The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to East Asia Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (second from right) and former Malaysian Foreign Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar (first at right), personally visited the Taiwan Agricultural Pavilion, where they got a detailed understanding of organic turmeric.