Taipei, June 27 (CNA) A forum on Taiwan and China's gourmet cultures opened in Taipei Wednesday, attracting local food and restaurant industry heavyweights and about 70 of their counterparts from China.
Hosted by former Council for Cultural Affairs Minister Emile Sheng -- the current president of the hotel group L'Hotel de Chine -- the forum offers a platform for participants to discuss how to strengthen cooperation between the two countries' food industries, internationalize Chinese food and introduce creative developments to traditional Chinese dishes.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, who attended the forum's opening ceremony, said Taiwanese people are well-known for their creativity in the food industry, citing the example of Taipei's pineapple cake industry that has grown from sales less than NT$2 billion to NT$25 billion in less then 10 years.
Many Taiwanese food and restaurant franchises have entered China's market in recent years and their successful business models plus quality services have attracted the attention of people in the Chinese food industry.
Such interest has led to many Chinese food and restaurant franchises hoping to enter Taiwan's market and cooperate with Taiwanese businesses to expand overseas markets together.
Han Ming, president of the China Hotel Association who attended the opening of the forum, said China can learn from the green and health-conscious nature of Taiwan's food and restaurant industry, as such values are not widespread in China at the moment.
In addition, Taiwan's gourmet culture has not only kept the advantages of traditional Chinese culture, but has also made creative developments, Han added.
Following a similar forum in Beijing last year, this year's event has attracted executives from top Beijing restaurant franchises, such as Dadong Beijing Duck Restaurant, Wang Shun Ge, Meizhou Dongpo and Quan Jude. It is estimated the participating China franchises have a combined annual revenue of more than NT$500 million (US$16.68 million).
Representatives from Taiwan's food and restaurant industry include Chou Wen-bao, chairman of Ding Xian 101 F&B Dining Co. and Shin Yeh Co. Ltd. CEO Shih Shao-wei.
The forum will run June 27-28 at Taipei's Palais de Chine Hotel, a member of the group L'Hotel de Chine.
(By Su Yen-feng and C.J. Lin)