Nanning, China, April 28 (CNA) A delegation of representatives from Taiwanese enterprises are visiting the Nanning-ASEAN Economic Development Zone in China, with the aim of tapping into the burgeoning trade opportunities in southwestern China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The visit by 20 representatives from the financial, food, biomedicine and hospitality industries was organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to help Taiwanese enterprises gain a toehold Nanning and the ASEAN market.
As of 2010, the ASEAN member countries had a total population of nearly 2 billion and a combined trade value of about US$2 trillion, according to the latest statistics published Feb. 15.
Liu Yi-hsiu, an executive with Formosa International Hotels Corp., said although many hotels have sprung up in Nanning, the Taiwanese hospitality business there still has an edge thanks to the sophistication of its service.
The hotel group is assessing the feasibility of setting up business outside of Shanghai, where it has reaped healthy profits, she said.
Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is hometo the Nanning-ASEAN Economic Development Zone, a 180-square-kilometerpark that houses more than 200 businesses in the fields of textiles,food, biomedicine and machinery. The province registered 13.9 percent economic growth in 2009.
Taiwanese enterprises investing in the economic development zone are eligible to tax breaks for three to five years, which are not extended to ASEAN countries, said Tang Xuyuan, a local official.
Meanwhile, a TAITRA trade exhibition in Nanning is showcasing cultural and creative products, clothing and LED lighting equipment, displayed by 250 exhibitors, in the hope of attracting buyers from Thailand and Vietnam, among other Southeastern Asian coutries.
The product portfolio is in sync with the Chinese authorities' goal of boosting domestic consumption during the country's 12th Five-Year Plan, TAITRA Chairman Wang Chih-kang said.
He expressed the hope that the city will replace its existing street lamps with Taiwanese-made LED lights to help cut carbon emissions.
The trade show, which will run through May 1, is one of seven planned by TAITRA this year. The last one, held in Shanghai, secured US$540 million worth of deals.
(By Lin Meng-ju and Scully Hsiao)