千里商機一線牽

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1992 / 10月

文‧張瓊方 圖‧邱瑞金


一年三百六十五天,全世界共有上萬個國際商展在各地舉行。如何吸引國際業者及買主前來「趕集」,使其成為同類商展中的佼佼者,是所有主辦單位的最大心願。

 

開發中國家拓展貿易、開發市場的最佳園地,要屬此地兩年一度的「進步夥伴展」。


第三屆中華民國進步夥伴展於八月下旬剛落幕。這個我國規模最大、專門展示世界各開發中國家產品的綜合商品展覽會,從一九八八年首展迄今,雖才舉辦三次,但已經在國際間打出了名號。

有朋自遠方來

這一次共有來自全球五大洲、六十四國的一千六百多家廠商參展,規模較前屆成長了百分之卅六.二。各國代表團規模也愈來愈大,其中越南團有一百廿五人、希臘團七十六人、墨西哥團六十人。而首度參展的白俄羅斯、俄羅斯、烏克蘭、波羅的海三小國……等東歐國家,相當特別;連非洲的衣索匹亞、中東的葉門,都不遠千里來台參展。

這屆進步夥伴展,主辦單位外貿協會一改過去免費服務的方式,開始向參展廠商收取費用(包括場地費、器材費等),參展廠商卻不減反增。「天下沒有白吃的午餐」,對外貿易發展協會秘書長劉廷祖分析:一來我們的名氣已經打響了,合理收費不致影響其參展意願;二來參展廠商認為主辦單位敢收費,一定會辦得好;「而我們收費的目的,也無非是希望參展廠商因要付費而更加慎重,藉以提昇商展的水準」,他解釋。

以開發中國家為唯一對象,協助開發中國家拓展市場的中華民國進步夥伴展,是全世界各大大小小的國際商展中,相當特殊的一個,目前只有德國柏林的進口商展進步夥伴會與其性質相近。

連續擔任柏林展台灣參展團五年團長、一年領隊的蔡豐名指出,柏林展至今已有卅年歷史,而台灣也有廿九年的參展經驗,「柏林展可以說是我們對外參展拓銷歷史最悠久的一個展」,蔡豐名表示,柏林展規模很大,展覽場地多達十個館,每年約有七、八十個國家,一千多家廠商參展。來台參加進步夥伴展的廠商,九成以上都參加了柏林展,兩個展的同質性很高。

是貿易,也是交流

雖然柏林展的規模、歷史都遠超過我國的進步夥伴展,但不同的是,它雖以「進步夥伴來相會」為號召,卻也有先進國家,如美、日等國參加。而我國則以開發中國家為唯一對象。

劉廷祖表示:「許多開發中國家認為,台灣的進步夥伴展比較合乎他們需求。因為這些國家跟我們的開發程度畢竟比較接近;德國市場對他們而言,層次太高了。」

除此之外,柏林的進步夥伴會只有買主可以進場交易,是個專業性商展;而我們的進步夥伴展則開放給一般民眾參觀,性質較接近博覽會。

「很多我們不曾接觸的國家,如衣索匹亞、烏克蘭、拉脫維亞……等,過去國人對他們一無所知;藉此機會,民眾可以看看他們的人、產品,增加對這些國家的了解」,劉廷祖表示,這是很好的「教育機會」。

柏林及台北進步夥伴展除了性質大同小異外,這兩個展的源起似乎也頗堪玩味。

外交意義大過經濟?

據蔡豐名指出,兩德冷戰期間,位在東德境內的西柏林儼然一座孤城,儘管西德政府給予西柏林居民種種優惠,像減稅、房租津貼、解除徵兵制等等,還是無法阻止當地居民外遷到其他西德境內的城市。

西德政府於是自一九六二年(柏林圍牆築起的第二年),委託半官方的AMK展覽公司,在柏林舉辦進步夥伴商展,一方面吸引第三世界國家來此開拓歐市,一方面經由各國來展廠商的住宿、消費,促進西柏林的繁榮。

當初柏林是地理上的孤城,而今我們是外交上的孤島。因而有人認為,我們舉辦進步夥伴展,其外交意義大於經貿意義。

「其實不然」,劉廷祖表示:「我們固然是幫助一些發展程度還不及我們的國家,分享我國的發展經驗與市場;另一方面,也十分符合我們的需求。」

因為我們需要原料,而參展的開發中國家,絕大多數資源相當豐富,在貿易上與我國有很高的互補性,透過這樣的展,可將對外貿易的觸角伸展到全世界各角落。當然我們也需要友誼。在這個亟須國際支援的時候,藉著這個展,我們可以結交許多沒有邦交的國家,加強彼此的實質關係。

漂亮的經貿成績單

舉辦了三屆的進步夥伴展,雖然看不到什麼明顯的「外交」成績,但經貿成績可是有目共睹的。以土耳其為例,第一屆進步夥伴展上雙方有了接觸,展後我國便在土耳其設立了辦事處,雙方貿易量較過去大幅成長了三倍。在第二次展後我國在埃及、伊朗、奈及利亞等國,也都設立了辦事處,建立起更長遠的經貿關係。

而這一屆的夥伴展,光是參展國達成的交易和後續交易額,高達一億一千六百多萬美金,參展國採購我國整廠輸出和機器設備,將近六百萬美金。

此外,和第一、二屆一樣,很多參展國如巴基斯坦、巴拉圭等,展後對台灣市場非常看好,紛紛在台設辦事處;許多廠商也想以此地做為推展亞洲市場的跳板,紛紛尋求代理商。

除了加強我國與各參展國的貿易往來外,促成各參展國之間的貿易機會,也是中華民國進步夥伴展的功能之一。

外貿協會開發處副處長劉大俊指出,本屆進步夥伴展的「貿易機會服務站」,便促成了巴基斯坦的棉花向沙烏地阿拉伯出口。

期待一九九四

展望未來,一九九四年第四屆進步夥件展決定與世界貿易中心協會的大會同時在台北舉行。屆時會有來自全世界二百多個貿易中心來此開會,其中多數為歐美已開發國家,估計有一、二千人前來。劉廷祖指出,配合進步夥伴展來展的開發中國家,將可提供更多的貿易機會,也希望藉此讓台灣成為亞洲貿易中心。

兩德統一了,柏林進口商展進步夥伴會將在西元二千年停辦,屆時中華民國進步夥伴展對開發中國家而言,將更形重要。

〔圖片說明〕

P.88

進步夥伴展像一個小型博覽會,看看不一樣的人、不一樣的產品,也可以增廣見聞。

P.88

心動不如馬上行動!進步夥伴展允許現場零售,民眾不會有「看得到、買不到」的遺憾。

P.89

本屆進步夥伴展有許多國人不曾接觸過的東歐國家來展,相當引人注意。

P.90

展出產品從原料、手工藝品,工業產品到食品,琳琅滿目。

P.91

設立中華民國館,將我國各類產業的整廠技術經驗及設備與貿易夥伴分享,是本屆進步夥伴展的一大特色。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

A World of Business Opportunity in One Room

Chang Chung-fang /photos courtesy of Diago Chiu /tr. by Jonathan Barnard

In the 365 days of a year, over 10,000 international trade shows are held all over the world. Attracting international industrialists and buyers so that a show stands out in the crowd is the great hope of all the sponsoring organizations.

The biennial Taipei International Fair has been characterized as the best place to expand trade and develop markets.


The third Taipei International Fair was over at the end of August. This is the largest of the nation's trade shows, designed to display the general commercial products of all of the world's developing countries. Although it has only been held three times since its first show in 1988, it has already acquired quite a name for itself internationally.

Friends from afar: This time more than 1,600 companies from 64 countries on five continents participated, a growth of 36.2 percent over the previous exhibition. The delegations of the participating countries are also growing: 125 people came from Vietnam, 76 from Greece and 60 from Mexico. The participation of such Eastern European countries as Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and the three small Baltic states also made the fair special. Even Ethiopia of Africa and Yemen of the Middle East sent delegations.

And this increase occurred despite a decision by the fair's sponsor, the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA), to collect fees (such as location fees and equipment fees) for services that had previously been free. "You can't get a free lunch anywhere," says CETRA's secretary general Liu Ting-tsu. First of all, the exhibition has already made a name for itself, he analyzes, so people won't be turned off by reasonable fees. Secondly, participants think that if the sponsoring organization dares to charge a fee, it must do a good job of putting on the fair. "And fees are charged in the hope that the participants, because they have to pay fees, will be more deliberate in their preparations and raise the quality of the fair," he explains.

With the single purpose of promoting the development of the developing countries, the Taipei International Fair, which helps these countries expand their markets, is quite special among all the large and small international shows put on around the world. Currently, only the Berlin Import Fair resembles the Taipei International Fair in its basic nature.

Tsai Feng-ming, who has served for five straight years as the head of the Taiwan delegation to the Berlin Import Fair and who served as trip coordinator this last year as well, points out that Taiwan has been sending delegations to the Berlin Import Fair for 29 years--ever since its second year. "It could be said that we have been participating longer at Berlin than at any of the other fairs to which we go to expand our markets." The Berlin Fair is huge: Over l,000 manufacturers from 70 to 80 countries can be found in its ten halls. And over 90 percent of the manufacturers that attend the Taipei International Fair also attend the Berlin Import Fair. The two fairs are really much alike.

It's trade and exchange: The size and history of the Berlin Import Fair well exceed the R.O.C.'s Taipei International Fair, and while the German fair purports to be designed for developing countries, advanced countries such as the United States and Japan still attend. In the R.O.C. fair, however, only developing countries are allowed to participate.

"Many developing countries believe that the Taipei International Fair does a better job of meeting their needs because our level of development is closer to theirs," explains Liu Ting-tsu. "As far as they are concerned, the level of the German market is too high."

What's more, the Berlin Import Fair only allows buyers into the grounds--it's all so very professional. The R.O.C. exhibition, on the other hand, allows entry to the general public. It's closer in nature to an exposition like World Expo.

"R.O.C. citizens previously had next to no knowledge of many of the participating countries with which the R.O.C. had never had any contact -- like Ethiopia, Ukraine and Latvia. Now they can take advantage of this opportunity to look at the people and the products of these nations and add to their understanding," says Liu. This is an excellent educational opportunity.

Besides their similarities, the Berlin Import Fair and Taipei International Fair are also notable for their origins.

More for foreign relations than economics? Tsai Feng-ming points out that when the two Germanies were frozen in the Cold War, West Berlin was isolated within East Germany. Even though the West German government gave special treatment to the residents of West Berlin-- such as tax breaks, subsidized rents and draft exemptions--it was still unable to stem the flow of those leaving the city for other West German cities.

Since 1962 (the second year of the Berlin Wall), West Berlin has commissioned AMK of Berlin, which is partly government owned, to put on a Berlin Import Fair. It was thought that the fair would attract Third World countries to come and make inroads into the European market while also stimulating the West Berlin economy through the money spent on housing and consumer goods.

At the time, Berlin was an isolated district, and Taiwan is today a lonely island. And for this reason, some people hold that the R.O.C. puts on the Taipei International Fair more for foreign relations than economics.

"It's not really like that," says Liu Ting-tsu. "We have no doubt helped some countries with less developed economies than ours to share in our country's economic experience and markets. And it's also matched our needs."

Because we need natural resources and most of the developing countries participating in the fair have them in abundance, we make good partners. By going through a fair of this kind, a country can extend its trading tentacles to the far stretches of the world. We do, of course, still need friends. At a time when we are greatly in need of international support, we can strengthen de facto ties with many nations with which we lack formal diplomatic relations.

A good report card for trade: While holding the Taipei International Fair hasn't brought any palpable achievements in foreign relations, the fair has made clear achievements in the realm of economics and trade. Take Turkey as an example. The R.O.C. established a trade office in Turkey shortly after contact at the first fair, and trade between the two nations has since increased three fold. After the second fair, the R. O. C. established trade offices in Egypt, Iran and Nigeria, advancing its trading relations with those nations.

As for this year's fair, business made at the fair or following it up amounted to as much as US$116 million, and developing countries bought as much as US$6 million in whole-plant exports and machinery from R.O.C. firms.

And after the recent fair, just like after its two predecessors, participating countries like Pakistan and Paraguay have taken a good look at the potential of the Taiwan market, rushing in one after another to set up offices. Many companies are thinking that they can use Taiwan as a spring-board for marketing their products in Asia and are scrambling to find agents.

Besides strengthening the economic ties between the R.O.C. and each of the participating nations, the fair also functions to promote trading opportunities between the foreign participants.

Liu Ta-chun, the assistant head of the development office at CETRA, points out that at this year's fair, the "Trading Opportunity Service Station" served as "a port of transfer" for exporting Pakistan's cotton to Saudi Arabia.

Waiting for 1994: As for the future, CETRA has decided to hold the 1994 fair at the same time the World Trade Center puts on its big conference. At that time, some 1-2,000 representatives of over 200 trading centers from around the world will be in town, mostly from the developed nations of Europe and America. Liu Ting-tsu points out that coordinating this meeting with the fair will provide even more trading opportunities, and it is hoped that Taiwan will be able to grab at the opportunity to become a trading center within Asia.

The two Germanies have united, and the Berlin Import Fair will be held for the last time in 2000. At that time, the Taipei International Fair will become even more important for developing countries.

[Picture Caption]

The Taipei International Fair resembles a small scale World Expo. By providing a chance to see different kinds of people and products, the fair can broaden one's understanding of the world.

Being moved isn't as good as being moved to action. At the Taipei International Fair this year, the public didn't face the problem of "look but don't buy."

Coming from countries with which R.O.C. had no previous contact, the Eastern European delegations attracted great attention.

From raw materials and handicrafts, to industrial goods and food product s, the cornucopia of goods provided a feast for the eyes.

Designed to share with other nations the R.O.C.'s expertise in whole plant technology, the R.O.C. booth was one of this fair's special features.

 

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