The value of exports of agricultural products in 2019 was US$5.58 billion.
1. Background to the program
Following Taiwan’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002, although Taiwan has had to open its market and lower tariffs in accordance with promises made upon entry into the WTO and WTO rules, in return Taiwan has enjoyed opportunities for export of agricultural products on the basis of most favored nation treatment. The Council of Agriculture (COA), acting under the policy blueprint of “health, efficiency, and sustainability,” has launched a series of programs to promote international marketing of agriproducts, including the “Program for Strengthening International Marketing of Agricultural Products” in 2004, the “Program for Strengthening Global Distribution and Marketing of Agricultural Products” in 2007, the “Program for Cultivating Global Markets for Agricultural Products” in 2010, and the “Program for Expanding International Marketing of Agricultural Products” in 2015. In 2016, the government began appropriating funds in the national budget for international marketing of agriproducts, and with the goals of “constructing a positive trade environment and promoting export-oriented agriculture,” “building up the international image of Taiwan agriproducts and expanding international marketing channels,” and “supporting exports of agriproducts and raising farmers’ incomes,” the COA has promoted policies for international marketing of agriproducts year after year, assisting in the development of overseas markets for agriproducts.
2. Implementation of the program
(1) Improving the trade environment for exports of agriproducts
A. With respect to overseas target markets, survey their trade regulations, distribution of sales channels, and consumer behavior, undertake market analysis, and determine major products to be promoted and marketing strategies.
B. With respect to overseas target markets, survey their trade regulations, distribution of sales channels, and consumer behavior, undertake market analysis, and determine major products to be promoted and marketing strategies.
C. Undertake negotiations with main target markets through the WTO framework, regional free trade agreements, or bilateral meetings, in order to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers.
(2) Constructing an image of high quality and cultivating global markets
A. Organize groups to participate in important domestic and overseas general food products expositions and specialized expos, and arrange trade discussions during these events.
B. Construct a visual identity system for overseas promotion of Taiwan agriproducts, and guide industry associations to promote and utilize it.
C. Undertake information campaigns in print or electronic media in target markets to promote an image of high quality for Taiwan agriproducts.
(3) Constructing stable overseas marketing channels
A. Establish long-term overseas display and sales points: Establish long-term display and sales points in the Singapore and Hong Kong markets and continue to display and sell high-quality agriproducts from Taiwan.
B. Organize promotional activities with overseas sales channels for agriproducts: In coordination with the growing seasons of agriproducts, organize Taiwan fruit and vegetable marketing activities in cooperation with sales channels in major target markets including Japan, mainland China, the US, Canada, and New Southbound Policy partner countries; besides marketing Taiwan agriproducts, provide city and county governments with overseas marketing platforms to improve export performance.
(4) Strengthening management capabilities at export businesses and upgrading the competitiveness of products from Taiwan
A. Organize classes, international forums, and overseas learning groups for training of professionals in agricultural trade and strengthen the export potential of trading companies.
B. Organize"Agricultural Product Exporters Brand Counseling Project" and strengthen the brand management capabilities of agriproduct export businesses.
3. Current achievements of the program
In 2019, the total value of agriproduct exports was US$5.58 billion, an increase of 2.1% over the previous year. This was the highest figure in history for agriproduct exports from Taiwan. Major products with increased exports included fresh fruits such as pineapples, atemoya, wax apples, and mangoes, as well as rice, tea, Oncidium orchids, Phalaenopsis orchids, threadfins, sea bass, and tilapia. In particular, exports of fresh fruit totaled US$180 million, an increase of 40% and the highest export figure in history.
4. A Step Closer to Trade Facilitation as COA’s Licensing and Customs Clearance Operations Platform System is Linked up with Customs
In order to adapt to the global trend of trade protocol reform and facilitation, as well as to raise Taiwan’s overall competitiveness so as to turn Taiwan into a crucial global trade hub, the Executive Yuan began to implement the Trade Facilitation Plan since 2003. The purpose is to reshape an operational environment for trade facilitation which stays in line with international practices and achieve the goal for an obstacle-free customs clearance.
In 2008, COA commissioned the internet service firms to build the Licensing and Customs Clearance Joint Operations Platform System. It has integrated 80 licensing operations for agriculture, forestry, fishery, and livestock products. It has been carried out the formatting, standardization, and simplification of documentations according to international standard as well as introduced the digitalized operations of paperless electronic permits and licenses. Besides, Taiwan stayed ahead of most developed countries with the inclusion of CITES species into the Licensing and Customs Clearance Joint Operations Platform System. The COA has achieved a 95% completion on linking its licensing procedures with Customs Administration’s e-Trade Net and save much time for custom clearance.
In accordance with the promotion of the Customs Port Trade Single Window (CPTSW) policy promoted by Custom Administration of MoF, the COA completed on Nov. 28, 2012 single window 1st stage EBMS GATEWAY message connectivity test and message transfer, and then 2013 proceeded to harmonize customs, port, and trade data via connectivity and integration. Therefore, the COA can fulfill the need of customs-port-trade data exchange, sharing, administration, and international connectivity by providing application information regarding customs affairs, port, and trade licensing to inter-government, inter-country, and business-government parties. Thus, it has simplified complex application procedures, refined inter-country information exchange environment, and expedited customs clearance procedures while lowered trade cost for businesses. It has showed great results.