TWENTY-FIVE Taiwanese companies on Thursday opened an exhibition to show their products in Phnom Penh, to look for markets to sell their products and to increase trade relations with businesses in Cambodia.
About 300 Cambodian businessmen attended the exhibition - the third such event by Taiwanese businesses this year - with goods for sale including everything from automobile spare parts to cosmetics.
"We hope that the exhibition will help attract Cambodian enterprises and consumers to buy more and more Taiwanese quality products," said YH Chiang, president of the Cambodia-Taiwan Trade Association.
Keo Nimet, head of the international relationship office of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, agreed on Thursday that the exhibition would help boost trade ties.
"Many Cambodian enterprises and businessmen are interested in Taiwanese products.... They will spend around US$50 million to buy these Taiwanese products as many of those displayed are of a good quality and match Cambodian market standards," he said.
Despite efforts by the island to establish commercial links with the Kingdom, Cambodia-Taiwan Trade Association data showed that Taiwanese imports here fell from US$428 million in 2007 to $414 million last year.
In the first quarter, imports were $73 million, suggesting a further slide in trade activity.
Ka Chheng, chairmen of Yong Seng Embroidery, a local company that embroiders textiles, said that Taiwanese goods are suitable for local consumption, but added that Taiwan's lack of a trade office in Cambodia meant that making business connections with the island was not always easy.
"We are interested and want to buy Taiwanese products because they are of a good quality and match our demands," he said.
Taiwan began its trade relationship with Cambodia in 1991 but has thus far not established a trade relations office in the Kingdom.
About 3,000 Taiwanese businesses currently operate here, mostly in the garment and footwear industries.
Taiwan - like much of the region - has seen its exports nosedive since the onset of the global financial crisis.
The latest available export-volume figures for April showed a 20.9-percent annualised decline, AFP reported at the end of last month, an improvement on March in which exports fell 24.29 percent, Hi-tech industries including electronics and IT products were the worst affected, data showed.