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Taiwan, S. Korea trade promoters ink MOU

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Semi-official trade promoters Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Korea International Association (KITA) recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Taipei, aiming to step up B2B partnership between the two.

TAITRA Vice Chairman San Gee (單驥) and KITA Executive Vice Chairman Ahn Hyun-ho signed the MOU, which also includes the collaboration of online trade shows on Taiwantrade.com.tw and TradeKorea.com.

As part of the partnership between the two organizations, TAITRA has set up the “Taiwanese Products Online Trade Show” under KITA's portal featuring goods from 130 Taiwanese companies in the fields of electronics, bicycles, sporting equipment, auto parts and machinery.

Meanwhile, KITA has set up a website under TAITRA's portal featuring products from 130 Korean companies in the areas of science, electronics, textiles, food, and agriculture.

San Gee said that the bridging of TAITRA and KITA's online B2B platforms will give more edge to small- and medium-sized enterprises of both nations while tapping overseas markets, since TAITRA and KITA are both semi-governmental agencies; while their B2B websites — TAITRA-run Taiwantrade and KITA-run TradeKorea — are major trading hubs for international buyers.

Taiwan is South Korea's tenth largest trading partner. The compound annual growth rate of Taiwanese imports to South Korea reached 12.1 percent over the last two decades. Ahn said the MOU signed by TAITRA and KITA is expected to deepen bilateral trade relations.

The recent B2B website bridging between TAITRA and KITA has been well-received by SMEs from both countries, San said.

According to San, the initial plan for the “Taiwanese Products Online Trade Show” is to attract at least 30 member companies; however response from Taiwan's SMEs proved better than expected with TAITRA enlisting more than 130 member companies.

With and annual trade volume of US$26.9 billion in 2012, South Korea is Taiwan's sixth largest trading partner. According to Taiwan Customs, Taiwan's staple exports to South Korea are integrated circuits chips, printed circuit boards, storages, flat panels and liquid crystal gadgets.

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