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Han secures orders for Kaohsiung farm goods in Singapore, Malaysia

2019/02/27 20:22

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜, front, second right)

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has secured orders worth hundreds of millions of Taiwan dollars in Singapore and Malaysia during a visit to the two countries that will wrap up Thursday.

On Tuesday, Han signed a three-year contract with Seah Kian Peng (謝健平), chief executive official of NTUCFairPrice -- the largest supermarket chain in Singapore -- with the latter agreeing to purchase NT$23 million (US$746,750) worth of agricultural goods from Kaohsiung annually.

Later the same day, the Kaohsiung mayor inked another three-year deal worth NT$11.5 million per year with Sheng Siong Group CEO Lim Hock Chee (林福星).

Francis Liang (梁國新), Taiwan's representative to Singapore, said it is good that Taiwan-grown fruit has received greater exposure as that will help boost Taiwan's economy whether the effort comes from the local or central government.

Han embarked on the five-day trip Sunday by flying to Malaysia before proceeding to Singapore Monday afternoon. It was his first overseas trip since assuming office in late December.

After arriving in Kuala Lumpur, Han witnessed the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) between a Kaohsiung farmers organization and the Malaysia Dry Foodstuff Importer and Exporter Association (MDFIEA), which promised to buy NT$100 million worth of agricultural products from Kaohsiung.

Kaohsiung City Farmers' Association Chairman Hsiao Han-chun (蕭漢俊) signed the LOI with MDFIEA President Datuk Seri Chuah Poh Khiang (蔡寶強), who is also chairman of the People's Republic of China Affairs Committee under the Malaysian Chinese Association.

Although Chuah is reported by Malaysian media outlets to support Beijing's "One Belt One Road" initiative and some Malaysia-based business groups displayed banners supporting that project, Han told the press the LOI will not involve the Chinese market.

On Monday, the mayor inked a memorandum of understanding with Euro-Atlantic Managing Director Ebby Loo (呂進珠) in Kuala Lumpur, with the two sides agreeing to promote agricultural and farm products from Kaohisung in Malaysia.

According to Loo, her company imported about 36,000 kilograms of Kaohsiung grown agricultural and farm products to Malaysia in 2018. Loo said she is optimistic there is ample room for further cooperation.

Euro-Atlantic is a leading importer and distributor of specialty fruit, vegetables and marine products based in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

Han was expected to meet Malaysian agriculture officials, parliamentarians or Kuala Lumpur Mayor Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz in Kuala Lumper, but no meetings were held during his two-day visit.

Tan Kok Wai (陳國偉), a member of parliament for the Cheras constituency in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and national chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the governing Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, was quoted by the Oriental Daily as denying that a meeting had been scheduled with Han.

(By Kuo Chao-he, Huang Tzu-chiang and Flor Wang)Enditem/AW