Postcards from the Island

As Taiwan raises its business profile in the meetings world, Boardroom’s chief editor Rémi Dévé met with Mr. Walter Yeh, TAITRA’s President & CEO about the country’s urban regeneration, key industries and the upcoming ICCA Congress.

Taiwan has undergone a profound urban regeneration in the last few years. What does it mean for the MICE industry?

Our urban regeneration has made considerable impact on the industry. The transformation translates into the construction of more venues, like convention centres and hotels in different cities of the island, so more conferences can be held in Taiwan. The new facilities extend outside Taipei and its new exhibition centre, with hotels and large convention centres rising up in Tainan and Kaohsiung. The new metro lines in various cities are also part of this regeneration. For instance, in Taipei there are five lines connecting most hotels and venues making them more accessible and definitely more sustainable.

Can you tell us about Taiwan’s key industries and knowledge sectors and how you try to attract conferences that are aligned to them?

Taiwan is famous for manufacturing and also for its knowledge industry. Our government has recently launched the ‘five plus two’ innovative industries plan, i.e. the IoT Silicon Valley, aerospace and smart manufacturing, new agriculture and, of course, circular economy. So we tend to organize conventions aligned to these industries. Two years ago we had the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Taiwan, bringing many experts to the country. Three years ago we organized Velo-City, related to the bicycle industry, as well as the World Orchid Conference, linked to the agricultural industry. Finally, Taiwan organizes many medical congresses which benefit that industry.

Taiwan is championing sustainability in many areas of endeavour. To what extent is the meetings industry playing a role in that?

Already back in 2014, we applied for the ISO 20121 certification for our events and venues, for organizers and suppliers alike. In general, the meetings industry in Taiwan applies this sustainable guide to all the events hosted in the country, as well as to our MEET TAIWAN project, which was launched by the government bureau for Foreign Trade. CSR is also very important to all the MICE industry in Taiwan.

In general, how does Taiwan cater for international associations? What kind of support do you provide?

Taiwan is a hub in East Asia so, geographically, it is very convenient in terms of connectivity with other parts of Asia and the rest of the world. Additionally, our national and local government, in collaboration with MEET TAIWAN, provides financial support during the bidding process to interested associations. On top of that, conference delegates can enjoy Taiwan’s good food, shopping and the hospitality of our people. Major effort has been made to promote congresses in Taiwan with as many as twelve cities offering the possibility to organize events currently.

The ICCA Congress will be held in Kaohsiung next year. What kind of legacy do you hope it will leave?

We are very happy that the ICCA Congress will be held in a southern city of Taiwan, a city known for its industry and tropical weather. Kaohsiung (pictured) is a rising destination for international business events and attracting more attention from event planners. The ICCA Congress is the perfect opening for this city to showcase its potential in hosting such important events. We are hopeful that this Congress for congresses will promote Taiwan’s meetings industry, especially in emerging cities.

The interview  was conducted  by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi Deve. The right to use it, in parts or fully, has to be granted by the Publisher.

Organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA / Taiwan External Trade Development Council /Ad. by Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA

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