Somaliland-Taiwan trade expo starts November

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has announced that a Somaliland-Taiwan trade expo will begin Nov. 4 to promote trade between Taiwan and East African countries and assist industry players to enter emerging markets.

At a press conference on Tuesday (Oct. 26), Deputy Director of MOFA’s International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Chiu Chen-yu (邱陳煜) said in addition to the expo’s opening ceremony, an East African business matchmaking event will also be launched, CNA reported. Additionally, the Importers & Exporters Association of Taipei (IEAT) and the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Chiu said the trade fair is made possible by the efforts of MOFA, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, IEAT, and Taiwan’s Somaliland representative office.

The virtual and in-person components of the fair as well as the business matchmaking project help promote trade exchanges between Taiwan and East African countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, Chiu said. He added they also allow businesses to enter emerging markets in the region, help them gain familiarity with the layout of the market, and find business opportunities post-pandemic, per CNA.

The deputy director pointed out that Somaliland is an important trade hub along an international shipping route. He added its Port of Berbera is where the majority of East African nations barter for global goods and energy resources.

EU and Middle Eastern countries have been actively investing in the region in recent years, he added. Chiu said the African Continental Free Trade Area was established on Jan. 1, which will help create a single market for trade in goods and services in Africa, adding that future business prospects look promising.

He said MOFA encourages Taiwanese businessmen to make good use of Somaliland’s advantageous location to strengthen exports and sales to the East African market and use this event to develop business opportunities in the continent. The two countries organized the 2020 Taiwan Trade Fair last October, at which 160 local business and political VIPs attended the opening of the two-day event.

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