Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 31 August 2015
Taiwan’s major trade promotion organization, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce R.I.) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting Taiwan-R.I. bilateral trade and investment through business exchange, trade missions, and market information sharing. Representing their respective organizations, TAITRA Executive Vice President, Walter Yeh, and Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce, Stefan Pryor, inked the MoU in a signing ceremony in Taipei on Aug. 24, 2015.
Taiwan is currently Rhode Island’s second largest export market in Asia and its seventh largest export market in the world. “This MoU will further our cooperation and mark a new milestone in our partnership,” said Yeh. “Rhode Island is famous for its health services, tourism, and manufacturing, while Taiwan is well known for its health care, travel industry, as well as its role in the global supply chain. Both of our economies are driven by innovation," he added.
Citing Rhode Island's competitive agricultural and boat building sectors, Yeh invited Secretary Pryor to form more delegations in the future and participate in Taiwan's international food and boat shows in the future, including Food Taipei and the International Boat Show Kaoshiung, which are organized by TAITRA. In addition, Yeh said TAITRA would provide tailor-made services to facilitate Rhode Island's enterprises in forming closer partnerships with Taiwan's businesses. He also invited Rhode Island to establish a representative office in Taiwan in order to further enhance their cooperation.
The Rhode Island trade delegation led by Secretary Pryor was in Taiwan from Aug. 23 to 26. In addition to attending the MoU ceremony, the delegation had one-one-one business meetings with Taiwanese businesses and held a seminar on investing in Rhode Island.
According to official statistics, the bilateral trade between Taiwan and Rhode Island amounted to US$150 million in 2014, with Taiwan exporting US$59.7 million in goods to Rhode Island and importing US$90.82 million from the state. Taiwan’s main exports to Rhode Island included machinery, optoelectronics, and medical equipment, while Rhode Island’s main exports to Taiwan included pearls, precious stones, glass products, and other high-end products.
TAITRA has so far signed 56 cooperation agreements with various U.S. private and public organizations, including the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2014, the United States was Taiwan’s second-largest trade partner while Taiwan was among the United States' top ten trading partners.
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