The First Taiwan Aquaculture Trade Mission held recently in the Philippines
was a big success. The leading aquaculture companies in Taiwan are going to
invest in the Philippines to make the country a production hub for seafood
exports to Taiwan and other ASEAN countries.
Ten of the largest aquaculture companies in Taiwan participated in the
first Taiwan Aquaculture Trade Mission to the Philippines held at the
Manila Hotel. For our part, at least 70 Filipino aquaculture companies
likewise attended the event, particularly the networking and business
matching session of the trade mission.
The Taiwanese delegates are looking at crab, shrimp and fish for the export
market, and this is good news for our local aquaculture businessmen.
Earlier this year, the Philippines and Taiwan signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to cooperate in the promotion of aquaculture in the
Philippines. Ours is largely an agricultural country while Taiwan has
advanced technologies that can help the industry.
Taiwan is known as the kingdom of grouper fish farmers. With its history of
over 300 years in aquaculture, Taiwan has a global reputation for major
advances in mass production and virus control. In 2016 alone, Taiwan
exported some 700,000 metric tons of seafood such as grouper, tuna, bonito
and squid. That is equivalent to US$1.6 billion and the biggest importing
countries were the US, China and Thailand. But also in 2016, Taiwan
imported 450,000 metric tons of $1.145 billion worth of shrimp, lobster and
abalone mainly from Norway, Japan, China and Vietnam.
The ASEAN integration is making possible a much bigger ASEAN market, and
Taiwan is keen on tapping the Philippine market to be able to maximize its
potentials. Bilateral trade between the Philippines and Taiwan in 2016
reached $11 billion, but the trade balance leans more favourably on Taiwan.
Their exports to our country reached $8.6 billion while Philippine exports
to Taiwan reached only $2.2 billion. Our biggest exports to Taiwan include
generators, machineries and accessories and ICs. Taipei's exports to Manila
are fiber, iron and steel and auto parts.