Speech of Chairman

Dear Distinguished Members and African friends,

We the Taiwan-Africa Business Association (TABA) is a non-profit organization that provides services and assistance on trading and business development between Taiwan and Africa to Taiwanese enterprises. We aim to help businesses and industries in Taiwan to create greater competitive values. But for us to succeed in our endeavors, we will need the support and cooperation of each member.

The lack of experience and information on trade with Africa has led to the creation of TABA on Jan 5, 2007. Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, TABA was initiated then through the directions of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). Now, in the ninth year of service, TABA, along with the Importers and Exporters Association and other industry organizations, continues to advocate close exchange between Taiwan and Africa. TABA members, especially those pioneers in their respective industry sectors, work closely to promote more trade missions, business and industry exhibitions and exchange in both Taiwan and Africa.

TABA regularly provides economic and marketing information on Africa to our members each week. In order to assist our members in exploring every business opportunity, TABA organizes a number of trade delegations to visit different African countries and to participate in important international exhibitions in Africa. We encourage our members to join overseas trips by providing them incentives. Through TABA services, many Taiwan businesses as well as African enterprises are greatly benefited.

Africa is a fledging market full of opportunity and offers rich cultural heritage. Unfortunately, many Taiwanese traders are not familiar with the region. Only a few are aware that Africa has been benefiting from the rising prices of oil, gas and various metal and mineral products, and this is translated into steady growth and production. Realizing its growth potential, many exporters have set their sights on this emerging market. Businesses in Taiwan should seize this opportunity, making use of the strengths and advantages to offer excellent quality, low prices, sufficient skills and rich experience. TABA can help them to cooperate with each other, and to systematically understand the development, marketing, management and risk of supplying the African market. This is the best way to penetrate into the region and to better understand the whole African market.

Africa is the second largest continent in the world, comprising 54 countries. With high growth and rapid development, world powers have recognized the region as increasingly attractive. A quarter of the total number of countries in the world is in Africa, and the size is a fifth of the earth’s landmass, and its people accounts for one-sixth of global population. In other words, Africa holds huge potential. It is our sincerest hope that more businesses will join our organization and together we can create the biggest benefit for our members.

In the last twenty years or so, major developments have changed the global economic landscape. The opening of the Russian market to the world, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall is embrace of capitalism, and Mainland China and India’s economic drive. However, the near global financial collapse from 2008 have forced businesses to rethink and to devote themselves to develop other markets in the world as well. Shorter product life-cycle and rising cost of raw materials also pushed businesses to turn to Africa, which so far has not been fully tapped for such resources.

With the election of Barack Obama as U.S. President and the successful 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Africa is getting second look as more businesses show increasing interest in the region. However, there are still who doubt that Africa will someday become an important market. But as in any economy, Africa has all the potential to become a viable market if growth can be sustained in the region. Twenty years ago, no one would ever think that mainland China or East Europe would become the kind of market that they are today. From this prospective, it is not impossible for Africa to become a major market in the future. TABA members can enjoy this rare opportunity to establish their presence in Africa before the African market becomes the next frontier for growth.
Lately, I wish all of you prosperity, good health and lasting happiness.

Cordially yours,
Mr. Frank Huang

The Chairman of Taiwan-Africa Business Association (TABA)