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Taiwan kicks off procurement meetings nationwide

TAIPEI -- Taiwan has invited over 200 international buyers from 23 economies to hold procurement meetings nationwide over the next five days, with the aim of boosting the country's exports, Taiwan's main trade promotion body said yesterday.

Some 1,750 one-on-one procurement meetings will be held during the first-ever Taiwan Procurement Industry Cluster Week, said Chao Yuen-chuan, secretary-general of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

The five-day event will take place in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, with the participation of 225 overseas buyers and 670 local suppliers, Chao said at the opening ceremony in Taipei.

The procurement meetings will focus on different industries in the various cities, Chao said.

Those in Taipei will deal mainly with electronics and information and communication technology products, he said.

In Kaohsiung, the focus will be on steel and iron products and frozen food, while in Taichung focused will be placed on bicycles, machinery and hardware hand tools. In Tainan, the discussions will revolve around auto parts and biotechnology.

The meetings, which are expected to generate US$5 billion in business, are part of the government's efforts to boost the country's exports amid the global economic downturn, TAITRA said.

In addition to the meetings, there will also be tours of local factories, which will allow the international buyers to observe the manufacturing process and quality control, Chao said.

Taiwan's exports in September grew by 10.4 percent from a year earlier, ending six consecutive months of year-on-year decline. However, exports for the first nine months of 2012 were down 3.9 percent year-on-year at US$223.56 billion, government figures showed.

Vice Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao said at Monday's opening ceremony that he is optimistic about Taiwan's exports for the last quarter of the year, particularly as October has been designated “procurement month.”

At least 500 buyers, including Bukhamseen Holding Group of Kuwait, Marathon Electric India and Pensonic Industries of Malaysia, are expected to visit Taiwan as part of the campaign, he said.

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