The Taiwan Expo 2017 opened in Jakarta Friday as part of Taiwan's efforts to promote the image of Taiwanese goods in the Southeast Asian country, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).
TAITRA said that Indonesia is only the first stop in a series of trade shows of the Taiwan Expo 2017, as the government pushes for its "New Southbound Policy."
The policy, initiated by the President Tsai Ing-wen administration, is aimed at forging closer economic ties with the 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations along with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand, to lower economic dependence on China.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Taiwan Expo in Jakarta, which will run through May 14, TAITRA Chairman James Huang said that the exhibition is expected to strengthen economic exchanges between Taiwan and Indonesia.
A total of 140 Taiwanese enterprises are showcasing about 3,500 Taiwanese products in a wide range, such as food, machinery, consumer electronics, leisure/sports products, cosmetics and green energy products.
Huang said that whenever he visits Indonesia, he is impressed by the strong consumption power of its people. Indonesia is the fourth-most populous country in the world, with 70 percent of its population under 40 years old.
Taiwan and Indonesia have developed close ties, with more than 200,000 Indonesians working in Taiwan as home helpers and more than 20,000 Taiwanese investors operating in Indonesia.
Through the Taiwan Expo, Huang said, Taiwan and Indonesia are expected to develop a better understanding about each other.
During the Taiwan Expo, TAITRA said it will hold conferences to allow Taiwanese exhibitors to negotiate with possible buyers in Indonesia, while forums will be held to demonstrate Taiwan's "smart life" development and medical care efforts.
In addition to the trade exhibition, TAITRA will hold a marathon in Jakarta May 14 in a bid to raise funds for Indonesian kids to go to school.
After the exhibition in Indonesia, the Taiwan Expo will be held in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City July 26-28, in Manila Sept. 27-Oct, 1 and in Kuala Lumpur Nov. 9-11, according to TAITRA.