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Tainan county chief skeptical of outlook for farm sales to China

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Although the central government has targeted China as a major export market for Taiwan's fruits and vegetables, Tainan County Magistrate Su Huan-chih said Thursday he is not optimistic about the outlook for such exports to the mainland.
Despite the Council of Agriculture's keen efforts to explore business opportunities in China for Taiwan's farmers, Su said he has reservations for what he called an "uncharted" Chinese market, mainly due to rampant commercial piracy there.
"It is difficult to protect Taiwan's techniques and brand images in China, because commercial piracy is widespread there, " he told reporters.
"Even if a few categories of Taiwan's high-end products could be popular in some upmarket department stores in China, it does not mean that such Chinese clientele is big enough," he said.
In his view, Su said, the Japanese and South Korean markets are more worth exploring.
He noted that the agriculture-based Tainan County in southern Taiwan exported more than 1,000 tons of mangoes to the two neighboring countries in each of the past few years.
Su made the comments to reporters after COA Minister Chen Wu-hsiung told CNA in a recent interview that his council will launch an advertisement campaign to promote Taiwan-grown agricultural and farm produce in China, catering to high-income consumers.
Chen also set the goal of registering two COA-sponsored certificates for Taiwan's premium agricultural and fruit products in China, and called on negotiators of the two sides to discuss setting up a mutual recognition mechanism for farm produce from either side as a means of helping farmers easily sell their goods to the Chinese market.
The COA minister voiced his belief that his council's efforts in this regard will begin to pay off in the second half of this year, especially with the establishment of direct air and shipping links across the Taiwan Strait in mid-December.
In Tainan County, the Yujin township farmers' association has been more aggressive in helping local fruit growers ship their products to China -- commonly through direct shipping services maintained between Taiwan's outlying Kinmen Island and Xiamen Port in Fujian Province.
On average, as many as 700 tons of locally grown fruit were sold to China per year, said an official with the Yujin farmers' association.
(By Flor Wang)




Updated : 2021-04-22 08:18 GMT+08:00