Guatemala trade team visits I-Mei factory, hoping for more Taiwan-Guatemala trade tie-ups

The delegation is coming to Taiwan to take part in the four-day international food show to be held in Taipei from June 27

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I-Mei Foods Co. Chairman Henry Kao, third from left, was receiving the team at the company's Taoyuan factory on Tuesday.

I-Mei Foods Co. Chairman Henry Kao, third from left, was receiving the team at the company's Taoyuan factory on Tuesday. (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - A Guatemala trade delegation arrived in Taiwan this week and visited a food factory in Taoyuan on Tuesday with the aim to promote bilateral trade between the two countries.

Before inking a Guatemala-Taiwan free trade agreement in 2004, which took effect from Jan. 1, 2008, the two countries already maintained close economic ties. The visiting trade delegation is comprised of local crop growers and agriculture-fisheries companies.

The delegation is coming to Taiwan to participate in the four-day international food show to be held in Taipei from June 27, and visited an I-Mei Food factory the day before the event. The team will be promoting crops such as amaranth seeds rich in Omega 3, and coffee beans grown at higher altitudes.

I-Mei Foods Co. Chairman Henry Kao (高志尚) was receiving the team at the company's Taoyuan factory on Tuesday, saying that he is looking forward to increased trade and investments between the two countries.

Kao also showed the team around at the company's state-of-the-art in-house food safety laboratory, which is capable of performing detection of heavy metals and pesticide/veterinary drug residues, along with a newly-built food radioactivity laboratory, which is able to check food and drink for radioactive contamination.

The delegation visits a food production line. (Photo by Taiwan News reporter Tzuti Huang)

The company's radiation laboratory is set up against the backdrop of increasing concern in Taiwan about radioactive contamination of food products, especially after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. The team members have shown great interest in the two French-made radiation survey instruments.

After the visit to the company's two labs, the team said they are impressed by the food safety efforts made by the company.

According to official data, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to US$230 million in 2017, with imports from Guatemala up by 50% and exports up by 6.4%. Taiwan imports cane sugar, coffee bean, and recycled copper from Guatemala, and exports auto parts to the Central American ally.

The team posed for a group photo at the company's souvenir shop (Photo by Taiwan News reporter Tzuti Huang)