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First national shopping festival begins, hopes to kick-start consumer spending

TAIPEI--Taiwan launched its first-ever nationwide shopping festival Saturday with the aim of stimulating domestic consumption amid the global economic downturn, an economics official said.

The campaign, which has drawn the participation of domestic supermarkets, department stores, shopping malls, jewelers, bakeries and even online stores and runs until Dec. 20, is targeting consumers from home and abroad, said Chen Wei-ta, a section chief at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the organizing body.

The festival provides consumers with discounts, coupons and other shopping incentives to stimulate buying, Chen said.

Coinciding with anniversary sales at many stores, the nine-week event is expected to have a “synergy effect” and generate another NT$9 billion (US$308.2 million) in business, Chen told CNA by telephone.

“We'd like to create something that can match similar events in Hong Kong and Singapore,” he said, adding that the government is considering expanding the scale of the festival and make it an annual event.

Among the participants is Jing-Jan Retail Business Co., also known as Q Square shopping mall in Taipei, which expects to see its visitor numbers increase by 10-20 percent through this event.

To target customers from abroad, the shopping mall has offered discounts on products that foreigners show more interest in.

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