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COA minister sees bright future in farm exports to China

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Wu-hsiung said Thursday he is confident his council's efforts to help Taiwan farmers break into the Chinese market will begin paying off in the second half of this year.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with CNA, Chen said better conditions have been created to help Taiwanese farmers ship their produce to China more conveniently and economically.
"I am so anxious to see good sales results of Taiwanese farm produce in China, as are most Taiwanese people," the minister said.
"Hopefully, we can expect this to happen in the second half of the year." Since mid-December, the opening of direct air and shipping links across the Taiwan Strait has established a cornerstone for Taiwan to sell its farm products to China, Chen said.
"Now is the time to gear up and lay a sound foundation for Taiwan's agricultural and farm exports to China," Chen asserted.
Thanks to Taiwan's central location in the region and the direct cross-strait transportation links, the country now excels Japan, South Korea and even China's Hainan Province in transporting locally produced goods to China.
First, the COA will seek to register two certificates -- GAP and CAS -- that it grants to locally-grown, premium agricultural and fruit products with Chinese authorities to distinguish Taiwanese high-end produce from Chinese goods, Chen said.
The registration in China is expected to be completed within six to nine months, he noted.
Secondly, Chen said, the COA plans to launch an advertisement campaign aimed at building an upmarket image for Taiwan's farm produce.
"We will not engage in price wars, rather we will capitalize on the fine quality of Taiwanese products and cater to high-income consumers," he explained.
The COA minister aired his hope that the two sides could set up a mutual-recognition mechanism to approve the quality of their farm produce.
"Such a practice will allow fresh fruit and vegetables certified by Taiwanese authorities to 'swiftly' pass through Chinese customs, " he contended.
To achieve the aim, the COA will arrange exchanges of visits by quarantine inspectors to better understand relevant procedures on either side, Chen revealed. "I hope that the establishment of such a two-way quarantines recognition mechanism could be discussed in the coming round of cross-strait talks," he said.
Citing comments made by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan, Chen concluded that "this is a race against time and Taiwan must seize the present opportunities to lay solid groundwork, despite all unfavorable conditions, to wait for the arrival of good times." (By Flor Wang)

Updated : 2021-06-18 19:58 GMT+08:00