TAITRA seeks to empower women entrepreneurs

TAIPEI (CNA) — In a bid to tap the full potential of women entrepreneurs, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is set to organize for the first time a trade promotion delegation exclusively composed of female entrepreneurs this year.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia as part of TAITRA’s efforts to help women better explore foreign markets and gain a greater role in Taiwan’s foreign trade in line with the government’s policy and a World Trade Organization (WTO) declaration, TAITRA said.

The three countries are covered by the government’s New Southbound Policy, which has been broached by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen after she assumed office in May 2016, to boost two-way trade and investment with countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand.

The reason why these countries were selected is simply because there have been relatively few promotions targeting them, TAITRA said.

If satisfactory results are obtained, more delegations of women entrepreneurs will be formed to explore other overseas market, said Chiu Hui-li (邱揮立), chief of TAITRA’s Market Development Department.

The Declaration on on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment was launched in a WTO ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires in December 2017 so that members can collaborate on making trade policies more gender-responsive, share experiences to encourage women’s participation in trade, and collect data to better understand connections between trade and gender.

It was the first time in the WTO’s history that its members and observers endorsed a collective initiative to remove barriers for women and foster their economic empowerment.

In 2018, there were 1.466 small- and medium-sized businesses in Taiwan, around 37 percent of which were owned and run by women.

Meanwhile, TAITRA is also seeking to organize a delegation of indigenous business people to visit New Zealand, based on an economic cooperation agreement (ECA) inked by the two countries in 2013.

In 2019, products manufactured by Taiwan’s indigenous people were showcased for the first time at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington for two weeks, paving the way for future exchanges, according to TAITRA.

Products made by Taiwan’s indigenous people were also displayed at the Taiwan Expo held last year in other countries covered in the New Southbound Policy, and such exhibitions will continue into this year at the Taipei International Food Show in June, Kaohsiung Food Show in October, Foodex Japan 2020 in March, and FHA-Food & Beverage Asia 2020 in Singapore from March 31- April 3, among others, it said.