THE BEST of Taiwanese technological products are once again front and center as the Taiwan Excellence campaign kicks off for a third year.

Road show promotes Taiwanese products

Starting this month, the campaign organized by Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade and Taiwan External Trade Development Council will be visiting four malls in Metro Manila with the newest products of their brand partners in tow.

“We are hoping the promotion of this campaign and [the growing Philippine] economy will complement each other,” Gary Song-Huann Lin, representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines, told reporters shortly after the launch held on June 2 at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.

He added that while many Filipinos are using Taiwanese products — he cited in his welcome remarks that in “2015, the Philippines was the second largest export partner of Taiwan among ASEAN countries, amounting to $7.45 billion” — many of them do not know where they come from, hence the need for the campaign.

The Philippines, Mr. Song-Huann Lin said, is second to Indonesia among ASEAN countries, largely because the “Indonesian population is double that of the Philippines.”

“[Worldwide it is] the eleventh largest trade partner of Taiwan in the world, with bilateral trade, amounting to $9.27 billion,” he noted in his welcome remarks.

The road show, which started June 3-5 at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, features information and communications technology products from brands such as ACER (arguably the “top computer vendor in the Philippines’ according to Focus Taiwan News Channel, the English-language service of the state-owned Central News Agency, in a March 12 report), ASUS, MSI, and PX; household goods from Tatung, Sakura and Caesar; and Sports and Leisure products from Johnson, Pacific, and KYMCO.

The Taiwan Excellence Campaign will be held on July 8 to 10 at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Aug. 19 to 21 in TriNoma in Quezon City, and Oct. 21 to 23 in Market! Market! in Taguig City.

The campaign also has counterparts in other ASEAN countries such as Thailand.

“Since the start of this campaign [three years ago], many more Filipino friends start to realize that Taiwanese products are of good quality and yet not that expensive, reliable, and easy to handle and easy to operate,” he said.

And it seems more Taiwanese products will be coming in the country as Mr. Song-Huann Lin said that one of the policies of Taiwan’s president-elect, Tsai Ing-wen, is focused on “establishing a comprehensive supply chain for Taiwanese businesses in Southeast Asia.” This is the crux of her new “Southbound policy,” according to a China Post story.

The new policy will include “pushing bilateral interaction and cooperation of human resources, industries, investments, education, culture, tourism and agriculture between Taiwan, ASEAN, and South Asian nations,” said James Huang, director of the department of international affairs, as quoted in a Taipei Times report dated April 14.

For Philippine’s part in all of this, Amadeo R. Perez, Jr., chairman of the board of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, said that there are efforts to promote Philippine products to Taiwan but that “they have limited need for our products.”

“But labor is our number one export [to Taiwan]. The remittances amount to about P1.2 billion a month. And I’m glad our workers there are not domestic helpers but are working technical people. The number one in demand for the electronics industry [in Taiwan] are Filipino workers,” Mr. Perez told BusinessWorld shortly after the launch.

The CNA reports that currently, there are approximately 124,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan.

For more information, visit — Zsarlene B. Chua