MANILA -- Ten Taiwanese companies will visit the Philippines next week to explore business opportunities in the country’s aquaculture market, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) said.

According to TAITRA, the visit of the Taiwanese firms here aims to promote bilateral aquaculture trade and reinforce business relations between the Philippines and Taiwan.

In a statement, TAITRA said Taiwanese aquaculture exporters and importers are looking into the Philippines since the country is the fifth largest aquaculture market globally, with its rich inland ponds and lake farms for breeding.

The country supplies 2.34 million tons of grouper, tilapia, seaweeds, and shellfish among others worldwide.

Taiwanese firms are also looking forward with the developments in the country’s aquaculture sector as it targets to increase fish production by 14.4 percent by 2020 with the 252 community fish landing centers (CFLC) reducing post-harvest losses and increasing the earnings of local fishermen.

On the other hand, Taiwan has expertise in aquaculture farming and disease control.

“Given this fantastic opportunity for closer ties with the Philippines, Taiwan would be thrilled to exchange best practices and merge Taiwanese aquaculture know-how and the latest technology, to help re-engineer the Philippines’ aquaculture infrastructure, and facilitate the increased importation of quality marine and farmed species to Taiwan in the future,” Taiwan’s trade promotion groups said.

Meanwhile, the 10 Taiwanese firms that will explore business opportunities here next week are Tai-Yih Sun Industrial Co. Ltd., Caofon Machinery Industry Co. Ltd., EZ Smart Enterprise Co. Ltd., Toford Plastic Manufacturing Corp., Yuang Hsian Metal Industrial Corp., Taiwan Fishing Village Ltd., Shye Yih Feeding Co. Ltd., Magqu Co. Ltd., Tenzon Co. Ltd., and Duo Sheng International Co. Ltd.

In 2016, bilateral trade between the Philippines and Taiwan reached USD10.86 billion.

Philippine exports to Taiwan amounted to USD2.2 billion while its imports from the neighboring country reached USD8.6 billion.

Most of the country’s exports to Taiwan were electronic integrated circuits, data processors, petroleum oils, electronic motors and generators, parts and accessories for machines, diodes and transistors, among others.

Its imports from Taiwan include petroleum oils, electronic integrated circuits, auxiliary plants, printed circuit, copper bars, fabric, iron or non-alloy steel, parts and accessories for motor vehicles. (PNA)