TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) Mar 6 2012 2:58 PM MT—Tony Lo was optimistic about Taiwan’s export business on the eve of Taipei Cycle, Asia’s largest trade show. (Click on link above to download the PDF newsletter from Taipei Cycle.)
Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd of international journalists during a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Taipei, Lo, chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association and CEO of Giant Manufacturing, said he expects 2012 to be a stable year for Taiwanese manufacturers with Europe’s brutally cold winter and debt crisis in the rearview mirror. Emerging markets are steadily gaining importance, he said.
“Taiwan and China grow a lot. The number is still small, but the quality grows and I believe this year will grow more. This is a very good trend,” Lo said as photographers snapped pictures of him speaking at the podium inside a conference room at the Taiwan World Trade Center Exhibition Hall.
Photo: Photographers jockey for position to snap photos of Antony Lo, TBEA chairman and CEO of Giant Manufacturing, Y.C. Chao, CEO and president of TAITRA, and Ralph Wiegman, head of IF International Forum Design, during a standing-room-only press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Taiwan manufacturers exported 4.3 million bikes last year, down 13.7 percent from the year before. At the same time, revenue was up 10.7 percent to $1.66 billion. Exports of parts and accessories rose almost 19 percent with a value of $780 million last year. European markets typically import about two-thirds of Taiwan’s products, while the U.S. takes in about 20 percent.
Potential in fast-growing markets such as China is expected to be one topic of discussion this week during Taipei Cycle, especially in the context of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a trade pact that eliminated duties on frames and parts shipped from Taiwan to mainland China at the start of the year.
The economic situation in Europe is also likely to spur chatter, particularly since it’s such an important market for Taiwanese producers. At the end of last year, many Taiwan manufacturers said they wouldn’t have a real pulse on how this year might shape up in Europe until after the Chinese New Year in mid-January.
Taipei Cycle starts Wednesday at the Nangang Exhibition Hall and the Taiwan World Trade Center Exhibition hall downtown, where about 150 exhibitors are set up alongside the Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TAISPO). The show runs through Saturday and is expected to attract 1,092 exhibitors in 3,288 booths.