With numerous important guests in attendance, on October 20 the Council of Agriculture (COA) inaugurated the new “Special Area for Taiwan Agricultural Products” in a supermarket in Singapore. Attendees included COA Minister Chen Chi-chung; Pat Yang, President of the Taiwan Premium Agricultural Product Development Institute; Tan Kim Yong, Group Chairman & CEO of HAO Mart Pte Ltd; Representative Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang of the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore; Chiayi County Magistrate Weng Chang-liang; Chen Ming-wen member of the Legislative Yuan; and Shih Chih Lung, President of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce.
The “Special Area for Taiwan Agricultural Products” is a concrete result of the COA’s active development of sales channels for Taiwan agriproducts in newly rising markets and of its promotion of the “Taiwan Agriproduct Export Platform” policy. Located in the “Eccellente by HAO mart” supermarket newly established by HAO Mart Pte Ltd, the Special Area currently exhibits 224 products from 33 businesses in Taiwan, mainly focusing on Taiwanese rice, dried shredded fish, tea, candied dried fruit, and snack foods. In the future the COA plans to sell fresh fruits and vegetables as well as frozen foods in the Special Area, and will continue to introduce and promote Taiwan’s premium agriproducts to Singapore, to enhance the name recognition and sales volume of Taiwanese products in the Singapore market.
During the trip COA Minister Chen Chi-chung also attended a ceremony for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Taiwan Premium Agricultural Product Development Institute and HAO Mart Pte Ltd on cooperation in purchases of pork from Taiwan. Singapore buyers have a positive perception of the quality of Taiwanese pork. Moreover, Taiwan is about to apply to become recognized as a “zone free of foot-and-mouth disease.” The signing of this MOU represents the pro-active preparations the Taiwan government is making to resume exports of fresh pork. In addition to pork, Singaporean businesses are greatly interested in Taiwan’s high-quality rice, and the COA also witnessed the signing of a rice purchasing order between the Sheng Siong Group and the Taiwan Agriculture Investment Company. The COA also visited a Sheng Siong supermarket to have a look at sales of Taiwanese rice. Sheng Siong confidently estimates that the sales volume will double next year. Moreover, well-known Singaporean listed agricultural trade groups are cooperating with Taiwanese businesses in hopes of investing in the rice milling industry in Taiwan, and, through the sales channels of the former, to promote the development of Taiwan’s rice industry and market Taiwan rice around the world.
Besides expanding existing markets and new sales channels, the Export Platform constructed by the COA continues to operate. The COA states that—thanks to the cooperation and collective efforts of farmers, industrial associations, businesses, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, and Taiwan representative offices overseas—from January to September of 2019, the volume of agriproduct exports from Taiwan was 1.7 million metric tons, with a total value of NT$129.2 billion. These figures are increases of 9.8% and 6.1% respectively over 2018, setting another new record for these exports. The main export products, including rice, fresh fruit, tea, flowers, and aquaculture products, all showed excellent results. In particular, the fresh fruit export total of NT$4.96 billion is not only an increase of 42.1% from the same period late year, but exceeds the value of fresh fruit exports for any full year since recording this data began. This shows that we are continuing to see positive results from measures related to the COA’s active construction of the Agriproducts Export Platform, consolidation of traditional markets, and expansion into new markets.