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Export-boosting delegation embarks for Africa

2012/06/16 17:51:49

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) An export-boosting delegation of representatives from small and medium-sized enterprises left for Africa Saturday with the aim of expanding their reach in the African market, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) said Saturday.

The delegation is composed of nearly 70 representatives from 54 different local companies and is the biggest of its kind to visitAfrica, according to TAITRA.

Due to the gloomy global economy, Taiwan has been trying to broaden its export markets, especially emerging ones, Simon Wang, executive director of the council's Market Development Department, told CNA.

Besides South Africa, which Taiwanese businessmen tend to bemore familiar with, the delegation will also visit Angola, Tanzania and Uganda, which "might be a little more strange," he said.

The trip is part of the government's efforts to promote its weakening exports. Taiwan's exports over the first five months of this year postednegative annual growth of 5 percent, government statistics show.

However, despite the falling overall figure, exports to emergingmarkets are rising. In 2011, exports to emerging markets accountedfor 26 percent of the country's total exports, a percentage that grew to 28.5 percent over the first five months of 2012.

January-May exports to Africa totaled US$1.51 billion, up 37 percentfrom the same period of last year, according to government tallies.

Wayne Wu, the council's deputy chairman, was quoted as saying that now is a good time to grab the chance to promote Taiwanese products in emerging markets.

"With urbanization and industrialization, those areas are full of business opportunities," he noted.

(By James Lee)