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Agricultural delegation signs LOIs to buy US$576m of U.S. wheat

2022-09-29
Focus Taiwan
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Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle Director-General Daniel Chen (right). Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle Director-General Daniel Chen (right). Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle

San Francisco, Sept. 26 (CNA) An agricultural delegation from Taiwan has signed letters of intent (LOI) to purchase US$576 million worth of wheat from the U.S. states of Idaho and Oregon, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle.

Idaho Governor Brad Little and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle Director-General Daniel Chen (甄國清) marked the Taiwan Flour Mills Association's signing of the LOIs with the Idaho Wheat Commission on Sept. 20 and the Oregon Wheat Commission on Sept. 21.

The LOIs represent successful exchanges between Taiwan and the United States in such areas as politics, trade and culture, and underscore the reciprocity and mutual trust that are the result of efforts at the federal and local levels, Chen told CNA on Monday.

The restructuring of global supply chains in the post-pandemic era continues apace and it is important Taiwan ensures stable food supply from a like-minded country, he said.

Taiwan ranks in the top five Asian countries in terms of market size for wheat, which is widely used in the preparation of local street foods such as egg crepes, chicken cutlets and scallion pancakes, the office said.

About 80 percent of Taiwan's wheat imports come from the U.S., particularly northwestern U.S. states, it said.

In 2021, Taiwan was Idaho's second largest trade partner and for the first time became the state's largest exporter.

In March 2022 the Idaho Legislature unanimously passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 119, which reaffirms Idaho's commitment to a strong and deepening relationship with Taiwan and supports Taiwan's meaningful participation in appropriate international organizations.

Meanwhile, last year Taiwan was Oregon's seventh largest trade partner and third largest semiconductors exporter in 2021. It was also one of the state's fastest growing trade partners. Taiwan last sent a wheat procurement delegation to Oregon 15 years ago.

Another Taiwanese agricultural delegation led by Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) from Sept. 15-23 signed LOIs with the U.S. states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois to purchase US$2.6 billion worth of soybeans and corn, according to a statement issued Sept. 24 by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.

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