TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Central and South American allies came out in full force at Food Taipei 2021, which kicked off Wednesday (Dec. 22), to promote their domestic food products to the Taiwanese market.
In partnership with the Central American Trade Office (CATO) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, the embassies of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay set up the Central America and Paraguay Pavilion at the annual food show. A total of 26 companies showcased high-quality regional food products, largely consisting of beef, seafood, coffee beans, avocado, cocoa, and yerba mate.
Honduran Ambassador Eny Bautista, Paraguayan Chargé d'affaires Carlos Pintos, Central American Trade Office Director Augusto Liao (廖鴻達), Guatemalan Chargé d’affaires Sussely Sánchaz, and representatives of the Belize Embassy went around each booth to sample and learn more about the various snacks and drinks on display. The diplomats also performed a cooking demonstration in which they made paella with Honduras lobster, Guatemalan white shrimp, Paraguayan beef slices, and Belizean chili sauce to promote the food culture from their countries.
According to a CATO press release, Belize’s main exports to Taiwan include Marie Sharp’s hot sauces, concentrated citrus juices, shellfish, and rum. Following the Taiwan-Belize Economic Cooperation Agreement that was approved by the Legislative Yuan on Nov. 26, the tariff reduction is expected to boost bilateral economic and trade relations.
Specialty coffee from Guatemala accounts for 15% of Taiwan's coffee market, per the press release. With Taiwan's expertise in freezing technology, sales of white shrimp are also growing steadily.
Ambassador Bautista told Taiwan News that Honduras’ main food exports to Taiwan include shrimp, coffee, melons, and avocados.
Taiwanese enjoy shrimp, she said, noting seven out of 10 shrimp eaten in Taiwan are from Honduras. Taiwanese restaurants and hotels incorporate them into the local fare, she said, adding that lots of desserts are also made with Honduran chocolate and coffee.
The ambassador also pointed out that Honduras is the original equipment manufacturer for Godiva and many other food companies.
Bautista said her country is trying to increase beef, tilapia, lobster, and sea cucumber exports to Taiwan. Taiwan is helping Honduras grow avocados and strawberries so these can also be major exports in the future, she added.
Next year, the ambassador said there will be a food truck event that Honduras will be participating in.
Food Taipei 2021, which is being held at Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2, will last until Dec. 25.
Paraguayan Yerba Mate. (Taiwan News, Kelvin Chen photo)
Honduran Ambassador Eny Bautista sampling coffee. (Taiwan News, Kelvin Chen photo)
Honduran food products on display. (Taiwan News, Kelvin Chen photo)
Central America and Paraguay Pavilion. (Taiwan News, Kelvin Chen photo)