Food Taipei: A springboard for El Salvadoran products

By Natalie Hon and Vivian Kuo

Asia’s Super 5-in-1 Food Expo opened yesterday, featuring exhibitors, country pavilions, international buyers, shop owners, businesspeople and more from dozens of countries. Despite being halfway around the world, 10 companies from El Salvador are attending this year, offering Taiwan a glimpse of their country’s wide variety of exotic food and culture — particularly their globally renowned coffee.

Strengthening Bilateral Business Relations

Taiwan and El Salvador continue to maintain strong trade relations. In fact, Taipei Inter-national Food Show (Food Taipei) serves as a platform for jump-starting such interactions between El Salvadoran and Taiwanese companies. An increase of 21 percent in El Salva-doran exports to Taiwan last year reflects Taiwanese interests in these products. In turn, El Salvadoran companies have become very interested in joining Food Taipei and expand-ing into the Taiwanese market, El Salvador’s Ambassador to Taiwan Marta Chang de Tsien told The China Post. The free trade agreement between Taiwan and El Salvador has been a major contributor to the strengthening of the countries’ relations — some Salvadorian companies are even considering shifting their focus to Taiwan as similar agreements don’t exist with other Asian countries, Chang de Tsien added. But that is not to say there’s no room for growth: starting this year, noni fruit and its products will have zero duty when being imported to Taiwan, which is sure to give them a boost, she said. Chang de Tsien could also be called a “brand ambassador” because she is more than just a diplomat from El Salvador. She strives to strengthen bilateral business relations, draw-ing the two drastically different countries from opposite sides of the world into a mutual beneficial trade relationship. Strong private-sector collaboration enables efficient communication as well as facilitates the establishment of business ties between El Salvadoran companies and Taiwanese dis-tributors. This also allows El Salvadoran companies to further understand the expecta-tions of Asian markets, and hopefully increase exports in the food, packaging, cosmetics and medicine sectors.