TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first batch of Taiwanese guava exported to the United States has arrived after a ferry trip of more than 20 days, and the 13 tons of fruit will be available at supermarkets throughout the West Coast during the Lunar New Year holiday.
On Wednesday (Jan. 22), Taiwan’s Representative Office in Los Angeles invited U.S. officials and lawmakers, as well as envoys in the U.S. from Switzerland, Guatemala, and the Czech Republic, to take part in the “container-opening” ceremony at the base of Jan Fruits, Inc, the exporter of the guava, reported CNA.
Lin Li-fang (林麗芳), head of the newly established agricultural division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, described the ceremony to welcome the guava as taking 10 minutes, while preliminary preparations might have taken 10 years.
The guava became the fifth Taiwanese fruit to enter the American market, following lychees, carambolas, longans, and mangoes, said Lin. She added that the export of each Taiwanese fruit required long-term negotiations between the two nations.
Taiwan was given the green light to sell its guava in the U.S. last October, making it the second country to achieve that after Mexico.
Andrew Edlefsen, a senior official at the U.S. Department of Commerce, recalled that he used to have guava almost every day while he was living in Taiwan. Bilateral trade between Taiwan and the U.S. reached US$95 billion in 2018, said Edlefsen, adding that he looked forward to seeing the bilateral relationship develop further.
Franz Gehrig, a senior official at the Consulate General of Switzerland in L.A., expressed his amazement at the Taiwanese fruit. “We know that now Taiwan’s agricultural industry is also very competitive in addition to its high-tech and electronic products," said Gehrig, adding that he hoped that one day, tasty Taiwanese fruit like guava will be available in Switzerland.