The Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan organized a delegation to go to Russia to hold the “Taiwan Agricultural Products Promotion Expo and Business Matching Meeting,” which opened at the Moscow Marriott Hotel at 11:00 AM on August 21 local time. In attendance were not only Keng Chung-yung, representative at the Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission, but also members of the Russian State Duma of the Federal Assembly and other political figures, Igor Bukharov, President of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia, and Natalia Zolotykh, president of Opora Russia (a non-governmental business organization). The presence of such people greatly raised the profile of the meeting. Russian media and relevant enterprises who visited the show all were deeply impressed by Taiwan’s premium quality fruit and tea.
The COA explains that in addition to special guests and the media, the event was also attended by Russian tea, fruit, and hotel businesses including First Tea, the Hotel National, Ifruits, FRUIT, and Fresh Asia. Visitors all had high praise for the Taiwan products on display, including fruit, vegetables, seafood, tea, processed goods, and flowers. In particular, it was very impressive when the head chef at Taipei’s Grand Hotel used ingredients from Taiwan to make variety of exquisite dishes (including sakura shrimp fried cabbage, steamed loofah, and the chef’s speciality, fresh fish rice), allowing guests, business people, and media in attendance to experience for themselves the brand image of Taiwan agriproducts: “freshness, dependability, and flavor.” The response at the venue was one of amazement. Another excellent aspect of this promotion expo was the high-quality cut flowers from Taiwan decorating the venue, including dancing-lady orchids (yellow), flame orchids (red), vanda orchids (purple), and moth orchids (white, pastel). Many hotel operators inquired about these at least as much as they inquired about fruit or vegetables. This also served as a warm-up event for participation in the Flowers Expo Moscow (to be held in September) by a delegation led by the Taiwan Floriculture Exports Association.
In order to integrate marketing of Taiwan premium agriproducts and help Taiwan agribusinesses connect with Russian trading companies, for the business matching meetings the COA invited 34 representatives of relevant Russian industries, including agriproduct import-export firms, the chain restaurant industry, supermarkets, and hotels, to undertake trade negotiations with Taiwan producers. There was a lively atmosphere on-site of exchanges and business negotiations. In these, the items about which Russian businesses most inquired included mangoes, organic papaya, passion fruit, flowers, and tea. In addition, the head chefs and managers of several chain restaurant groups showed interest in the outstanding performance of Taiwan food ingredients when cooked, and the Russian restaurant group Novikov added weight to the Taiwan cuisine preparation show put on by the head chef of Taipei’s Grand Hotel on the afternoon of the 22nd. Many Russian media outlets reported on Taiwan’s brilliant agriproducts, and even more food and beverage operators interacted with Taiwan’s high-quality culinary industry, indicating that Russian business people feel a great interest in Taiwan agriproducts and cuisine.
In order to allow Russian guests and media to better understand Taiwan agriculture and exports, at this event the head of the Taiwan delegation Tracy Tarng, a section chief in the Department of International Affairs at the COA, delivered an important report entitled “The Status Quo and Outlook for Taiwan Agricultural Exports.” She explained the sanitation and safety of Taiwan agriproducts, as well as their international name recognition. She strongly stressed efforts by Taiwan to obtain international certifications like Global G.A.P., and also described the “Taiwan Agriproducts Export Platform” mechanism, which enable international consumers to enjoy Taiwan agriproducts and cuisine with peace of mind. These remarks were enthusiastically received by Russian business people in attendance, large numbers of whom said they were willing to import Taiwan agriproducts. They also suggested that Taiwan should frequently hold similar promotional activities or participate in relevant international expos held in Russia, in order to introduce more outstanding Taiwan agriproducts to Russia.
The COA stated that through similar promotion and business matching events, Taiwan can accelerate the creation of export opportunities for Taiwan agriproducts, and increase profits from exports to new markets. By combining the strengths of overseas offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and its overseas Taiwan trade centers, Taiwan is more able to match domestic producers with overseas sales channels, strengthen diversification of overseas markets, and expand into newly rising markets. In the future the COA will continue to work with local governments, TAITRA, and Taiwan’s representative office overseas, as well as farmers organizations, industrial groups, and trading companies in order to raise the quality and stability of the supply of agriproducts exported from Taiwan and market them through the “Taiwan Agriproduct Exports Platform.” This will enable even more consumers around the world to enjoy premium-quality and safe Taiwan agriproducts, and attain great results for exports of these agriproducts.