Hawaii Global Links Newsletter
Thinking About Selling to Taiwan?
Wednesday, 14 May 2008

“Taiwan is ready!  What better opportunity than this?”

Taipei Executive Director Alex Lei was in a recruiting mode, and his target was Hawaii companies with products to sell into the Taiwan market.

The “opportunity” was Food Taipei 2008, an annual food extravaganza that attracted some 33,000 visitors last year, including 3,000 from overseas. The show runs from June 18 to 21 at the newly-opened Taiwan World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall.

“This is the perfect venue to showcase Hawaii products,” Lei said. “And we’re making it very easy to participate.”

The Hawaii booth at Food Taipei 2007.

DBEDT and the Department of Agriculture (DOA) have teamed up to not only publicize the event, but provide Hawaii companies with the chance to display their goods at a free booth, and supply the manpower to distribute literature and offer samples.  There was even an offer of free shipping for those companies who could meet the May 9 deadline.  Why all the excitement?

In addition to the large number of visitors, Lei and his staff have experienced great success at previous Food Taipei shows.  Last year, 59 buyers visited the booth and many expressed interest in purchasing jams, jellies, sea salts, macadamia nuts, coffee and other Hawaii products.  Not surprisingly, so far this year, eight companies have shipped their products to Taipei.  These are: 

Big Island Bees (honey);
Dr. Paulo’s Kona Coffee & Macadamia Nuts (coffee and mac nuts);
Grandfather’s Salt (Hawaiian salt);
Hawaiian Eateries (salsa and sauces);
Hawaii Roasters (Kona coffee);
Hibiscus Aloha (confections, chocolate-covered mac nuts);
Lion’s Gate Farms (Kona coffee); and
Malie Kai (confections, chocolate-covered mac nuts).

Hawaiian entertainment brought visitors to the booth.  

As a bonus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be promoting American products.  WUSATA (Western U.S. Agriculture Trade Association) will offer cooking demonstrations.  And, after the show, products will be transferred to DBEDT’s Overseas Office at the World Trade Center where they will be prominently featured in a window display.

“We have hundreds of visitors a year,” said Lei.  “Many of whom are interested in buying items from Hawaii.  So our window has proven to be an excellent, no-cost sales tool.  We will also place companies on our Chinese language website (www.hawaiiofficegov.org ).

Sharon Hurd, of the DOA’s Market Development Branch, who recruited the eight companies, agrees. “You never can tell when lightning will strike,” she said.  “Someone will visit the booth, or walk by the window, or visit the website, and you’re making some serious sales!”

The Taipei Office offers Hawaii
businesses the opportunity to
display their products after the s

Matthew Loke, Administrator of DOA’s Agriculture Development Division, encouraged participation by Hawaii companies and noted that it’s not too late to take advantage of the show.  “You can still get in if you ship your products directly to the DBEDT office,” he said.

Added Hurd:  “Try to keep the weight of the shipment under 10 kilos (22 lbs.), which makes import clearance a little easier and also remember to mark your invoice ‘NOT FOR SALE.  SAMPLES ONLY.’”

For more information, Hurd can be reached by phone at 973-9465 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Lei or his assistant, James Lai, can be contacted by phone at (8862) 2723-0017), or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2008 )
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