Taiwan International Orchid Show kicked off March 3 in the southern city of Tainan, offering a world-class platform for spotlighting the country’s complete orchid industry supply chain and cutting-edge advantages in horticulture production practices and management techniques.
During the opening ceremony at Taiwan Orchid Plantation, President Tsai Ing-wen said orchids are the pride of Taiwan as they bring the country to the world and help extend its global reach. She also pledged to step up government efforts promoting Tainan as a center for orchid collaboration and exchanges with emerging markets, especially central and South American nations and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
According to Tsai, Taiwan’s orchid industry output hit NT$6.2 billion (US$201 million) last year, with exports accounting for 90 percent of the total. These numbers indicate that Taiwan will maintain its global leadership in orchid species R&D and seed supply going forward, she said.
Co-organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Tainan City Government, the Discover Sustainable Orchids-themed show is set to attract around 200 buyers from 27 countries during its 10-day run. Some of the highlights include an orchid competition involving more than 2,000 entrants, an exhibition featuring 20,000-plus orchids—500 of which are new species—as well as symposiums and other related activities.
TAITRA said the country’s reputation as a world leader in orchid exports is based on a number of factors such as abundant seed sources, advanced breeding and flower forcing techniques, agreeable climate and a strong logistics network.
The day before, deals totaling US$12 million were sealed between 18 buyers from 13 countries and 41 local orchid suppliers over the course of 337 one-on-one meetings at a TAITRA-organized matchmaking session in downtown Tainan.
Some of the heavyweights buyers from abroad are Van der Kamp International BV from the Netherlands, a major floral distributor in Europe; first-time visitor Rise n’ Shine Biotech Pvt Ltd. from India; and Foliage Expressions from El Salvador, which is looking to introduce locally produced growing media and related materials to Central and South America.
Established in 2005, TIOS ranks alongside the annual Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival in Tokyo and the triennial World Orchid Conference as the largest of its kind in the world. Taiwan is provisionally selected to host the 23rd WOC in 2020. (SFC-E)
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