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Taiwan trade office to come up in city

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By OUR BUREAU
  • Published 5.12.11
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Calcutta, Dec. 4: The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra) will open an office in Calcutta next year to promote investment from the South Asian country in Bengal and eastern India.

This will be Taitra’s third office in India after Mumbai and Chennai, a senior Taiwanese official said on Saturday.

The trade promotion body acts as a catalyst for thousands of industries looking out of the island for a larger global footprint.

Since 98 per cent of the Taiwanese companies belong to the small and medium sector, Taitra plays an important handholding role, David Hsu, economic counsellor and director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in New Delhi, said.

Taitra has already appointed a director for the Calcutta office who will shortly finalise the location. Apart from its own set-up, the branch will have five to six small temporary offices that can be used by Taiwanese companies at their initial stages of operations.

“Senior government officials and our ambassador to India are likely to come to Calcutta when Taitra opens its branch here. We would also like the chief minister of Bengal and the commerce and industry minister to attend the programme,” Hsu said.

Hsu and commercial secretary of Taitra Kevin Chen were in the city mainly to visit the upcoming airport city at Andal. Bengal Aerotropolis Project Ltd, the company which is building the airport, is keen to develop a cluster for light engineering and information technology hardware units.

Hsu said he was impressed by the pace of development of the project. Few Taiwanese companies, who were accompanying them to Calcutta, also visited Andal. “One of them seems keen on the project,” he said.

“We are in touch with the Taiwan embassy for more than a year now. We are keen on their investment in the airport project which will have space for non-polluting industry,” Subrata Paul, managing director of BAPL, said.

About 90 per cent of Taiwanese investment in India in the last few years have gone to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi because of the presence of Taitra. Taiwan has invested $1.6 billion in India till now. Two-way trade stood at $6.4 billion in 2010 compared with $6 billion already achieved this year between January and September.

About 63 trade delegations from Taiwan visited India in the last few years, but all of them visited the north, south and west. After Taitra sets up office in the city, many of them are likely to come to Bengal.

Hsu suggested that the Bengal government should send delegations to various shows in Taiwan to promote the state.