The Taiwan External Trade Development Council held the event in cooperation with the Singapore Boating Industry Association

Taiwan is the biggest producer of yachts over 24m in Asia

Taiwan is the biggest producer of yachts over 24m in Asia

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), in collaboration with the Singapore Boating Industry Association (SBIA), recently organised an event to promote Taiwan boat manufacturing to Singapore marine industry members.

Held at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club (RSYC) on August 22, the event attracted some 80 participants and doubled up as a networking evening for the boating businesses present to socialise and talk shop.

Peggy Chang, director of the Taiwan Trade Centre Singapore, delivered the welcome speech, which was followed by two presentations. Lim Yi Fan from TAITRA made a presentation on the boat manufacturing industry in Taiwan. Participants learnt that boatbuilding is concentrated in three clusters – Keelung in the north, Hualien in the east, and Kaohsiung in the south.

Kaohsiung is home to the largest industry concentration of boatbuilders and is also the location of the Taiwan International Boat Show (TIBS). It is the largest in-hall boat show in Asia, showcasing not just boats but also services and equipment of which Taiwan is a large producer. Diving, fishing and other boating related leisure products are also showcased at the biennial TIBS, which will run from March 12-15, 2020.

The second speaker, Dr Trust Lin, director of the Taiwan Visitors Association in Singapore, presented destination information on Taiwan. Although Taiwan is not a known boating destination, marinas are being built or planned. There is a government agenda to nurture the fledging domestic boating market and develop boat tourism.

SBIA chairman YP Loke, in addressing the participants, thanked TAITRA for sponsoring the industry night, where members and guests could mingle and become more familiar with the Taiwan boat market and products offerings. The association has been undergoing rejuvenation since a relaunch at the Singapore Yacht Show in April this year. This is the second member event since then and builds on the momentum generated since the boat show.

Taiwan has a long history of yacht and boatbuilding stemming back over 40 years. While the industry reached a peak some 20 years ago with over 80 boat and yacht builders, there are now 36. While numbers have reduced, the average yacht size has increased and is now well over 50ft.

The last edition of TIBS, held in March 2018, attracted 20,095 visitors and 726 international buyers from 31 countries including China, the US, Japan, Korea and Singapore. The four-day show was held in the impressive Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre, purpose-built for the show with the on-water berths outside at Horizon City Marina and Kha Shing’s Pier 22 marina. Key local manufacturers at the 2018 show included Argo, Dyna, Kha Shing, Horizon, Johnson, Morning Star, Novatec and Ocean Alexander.

Equipment manufacturers were a large part of the 2018 show. TAITRA organised 20 one-to-one procurement meetings with the total cost of deals estimated to be in excess of US$10m. TAITRA also organised a trade boating conference with the then ICOMIA vice president (now president) Andrea Razeto as the keynote speaker.

The next edition of TIBS takes place from March 12-15, 2020 and will be attended by the IBI editorial team.