Taiwan entrepreneurs riding on fast-paced development of mainland's economy
Riding on fast-paced development of mainland's economy
Published: Nov 09, 2023 09:20 PM
Visitors take pictures at the booth of Want-Want Group at the CIIE in Shanghai on November 9, 2023.  Photo: Qi Xijia/GT

Visitors take pictures at the booth of Want-Want Group at the CIIE in Shanghai on November 9, 2023. Photo: Qi Xijia/GT

At this year's China International Import Expo (CIIE), Taiwan-based Yoshantea Tea Co has used 6,000 cups, offering tea from the island for guests to taste. The bustling presence of Taiwan entrepreneurs shows their eagerness to seize the opportunity to ride on the fast-paced development of the Chinese mainland's economy amid the policy dividends offered by the mainland. 

Busy staff members from Taiwan tea companies can be seen offering tastings to visitors in front of their exhibition booths. Meanwhile, long queues form in front of fitness equipment booths as people eagerly try out the latest exercise devices. 

The vast market in the Chinese mainland has turned some Taiwan companies into regular attendees at the CIIE. The favorable policies provided by the mainland have further strengthened their determination to expand and invest in the mainland. 

"We invite every customer at our stand to try the tea from Taiwan island. So far, we have used up about 6,000 cups," Andy Chen, executive vice president of Yoshantea Tea Co, told the Global Times on Thursday as he busily attended to customers.

This marks the fifth time that Yoshantea Tea Co participates in the CIIE and it has set up six physical tea stores in the Chinese mainland. 

"We have plans to expand in the mainland, so we came here again this year, hoping to find more business partners and customers," Chen said.

Health equipment provider Johnson Health Tech is a second-time exhibitor at the CIIE. At the first CIIE that it attended in 2022, the company achieved an intended signing amount of 500 million yuan ($68.62 million) and decided to expand the exhibition area from 250 square meters to 500 square meters this time.

At the expo, Johnson debuted a new treadmill in collaboration with Huawei that can be seamlessly integrated with Huawei's wearable devices and the HarmonyOS system, the company's self-development operating system. 

"We have very high expectations for the mainland market, and we believe that it is a vast ocean of opportunities. We hope that through platforms like the CIIE, we can have more opportunities to showcase our products to mainland customers," Edward Lee, a senior executive of Johnson Health Tech, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Want-Want Group is present at the CIIE with two booths, bringing food and beverages as well as Water God cleansing products. 

The mainland is the most important market for Want-Want, where the company's performance has grown more than 100 times over the past three decades. Nearly 2,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) are now penetrating into various levels and regions across the mainland, according to the group.

"We have been in the mainland for 31 years. The mainland has been going up in terms of the economy and it's been doing well in the entire economy. We hope to expand our products and our different enterprises in the Chinese mainland even further," Tsai Wang-Ting, deputy general manager of Want Country Win-Win Division and Water God Division in Want-Want Group, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The confidence of Taiwan entrepreneurs in the mainland market comes as mainland authorities offer favorable policies to encourage and support Taiwan businesses in the mainland. 

In the latest development, South China's Hainan Province on Tuesday released a 17-point guideline including encouraging and supporting Taiwan enterprises to invest and start businesses in the Hainan Free Trade Port, especially in the agriculture, forestry, fishery and trade industries.

East China's Fujian Province recently announced a 10-point document to facilitate the travel of Taiwan residents to the mainland.

A total of 800 representatives will participate in the 2023 annual conference for entrepreneurs across the Taiwan Straits in mid-November, which will offer another example of the strong desire of the business communities on both sides to enhance exchanges and cooperation.

The Taiwan entrepreneurs at the CIIE said that they appreciated the favorable policies provided by the mainland and looked forward to closer economic and trade ties with the mainland. 

Chen from Yoshantea Tea Co said that Taiwan companies enjoy the benefit of zero tariffs on tea exports to the mainland, which is a significant advantage compared with other markets where tariffs can reach about 20 percent.

"This is a great dividend for our business among other preferential policies offered by the mainland," Chen said. 

The attractiveness of the mainland market and policy dividends have also prompted Taiwan investments to expand and thrive in the mainland.

Yoshantea plans to find more partners to open more stores in the mainland, while Johnson has strengthened its major layouts in response to the rapid change in the mainland consumption market, with a focus on smart manufacturing and digital trends. Want-Want plans to open its first physical coffee shops in the mainland in Shanghai next year. 

"I think there are many opportunities everywhere in the mainland, you just have to really search," Tsai said.