TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Organizers of the 2013 Taipei International Cycling Show, set for March 20-23, are predicting another record year for the expo. An estimated 1,100 exhibitors from 36 countries, fanned out over 3,300 booths and 58,000 square meters of expo space, and 8,000 buyers are expected.
Further, the 26th edition of Taipei Cycle will be four shows in one, held concurrently not only with the Taiwan Textile Federation’s Sports and Accessories Expo (SPOMODE) and the 40th installment of the Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO), but also with the Taiwan International Diving and Water Sports Show (DiWas).
Yuen-Chuan Chao, president and CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), which organizes Taipei Cycle, detailed the plans for the 2013 show during a press conference Wednesday for a group of 22 industry journalists — representing 15 countries — invited by TAITRA to tour several manufacturers in Taiwan this week.
Taipei Cycle’s D&I Awards, launched at the 2012 show, continue next year with a new addition: Acknowledging the growing importance of the e-bike market, the design and innovation honors will recognize the best in light electrical vehicles (LEVs) along with the established categories of complete bicycles, components, clothing and accessories. Some 74 winners have been selected, Chao noted.
Wednesday’s press conference also served as a forum to promote the local industry’s dollar growth in exports, up 13 percent in 2011 to more than $2.4 billion despite lagging unit shipments to key markets like the U.S. and Europe, and its efforts to, in the words of Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association chief Michael Tseng, “make Taiwan a bicycle island” by incorporating the industry into the move toward a sustainable, less car-dependent lifestyle.
Underscoring that sentiment, Taichung Deputy Mayor Ping-Kun Tsai cited the manufacturing center’s promotion of bike rental coordinated with mass transit; initiatives to boost bike tourism and leisure riding; and proposals to build elevated railways that would include dedicated bike lanes. All could establish Taiwan’s third-largest metropolis, hosting Taichung Bike Week from Nov. 13-16, as a “low-carbon and environmental city,” added Tsai.