Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. (TTL, 台酒) said Saturday that it has set its sights on the Latin American market, in particular targeting Paraguay, which just signed an economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan earlier this week.
To get its first look at the market, TTL is taking part in a 10-day agriculture product exhibition sponsored by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), a government-sponsored trade promotion group, that kicked off in Asuncion on Friday.
TTL is demonstrating its full product line there, including Taiwan Beer, Gold Medal Taiwan Beer, fruit-flavored beer as well as its Omar Single Malt Whisky.
According to the company, many Paraguayan visitors to the show have been impressed by Omar Single Malt Whisky, which has received awards at several international competitions such as the IWSC International Wine & Spirits Competition and the World Whiskies Awards.
Because of the warm reception, TTL said it is planning to seek Paraguayan distributors there to help it penetrate the market.
One of the motivating factors in going to Paraguay, the company said, was that it hoped to take advantage of the economic cooperation pact signed by Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Paraguay's Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday.
Under the agreement, the two countries are lowering tariffs on a group of products imported from the other side in a bid to facilitate bilateral trade. The agreement was signed during a state visit by Paraguay President Horacio Cartes from July 11 to 13.
Noting that Paraguay is part of the Mercado Comun Del Sur (Mercosur), or the common market of South America, TTL said it may also try to use the country as a springboard to the rest of the continent.
According to official statistics, Taiwan exports to Paraguay in 2016 totaled US$27.23 million, while its imports from Paraguay totaled US$20.3 million.