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Sourcing trade fair could create orders worth up to US$5.5 bil.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- This year's Sourcing Taiwan trade fair could bring in orders worth up to US$5.5 billion, the main trade promotion body said Thursday.

More than 10,000 one-on-one business meetings were expected to take place during the one-day event, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said at the opening ceremony.

This year's event was being attended by around 630 buyers from 63 countries and by local companies in the machinery, food, and information and communications technology sectors, according to TAITRA, which co-organized the trade fair with the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Foreign Trade. The number of buyers was the highest-ever, TAITRA said.

A total of 365 buyers came from emerging markets, including Myanmar, Ghana, Iraq and Laos, it added.

Foreign buyers also included some from Singapore and New Zealand, with which Taiwan signed economic cooperation agreements last year, TAITRA said.

Taiwan's exports totaled US$305.4 billion last year, only a 1.2-percent increase from the previous year, said Vice Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao (卓士昭), adding that the figure was below expectations.

However, he expressed confidence that this year, Taiwan will turn in a much stronger performance in exports.

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A local dessert vendor demonstrates a box of eggrolls via a conference call at this year's Sourcing Taiwan trade fair, yesterday. More than 10,000 one-on-one business meetings took place during the one-day event. Among the registered international buyers, 26 had an annual turnover of over US$5 billion, while another 61 had a business volume of over US$1 billion. (CNA)

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