Few global trade show have the sheer clout of Taipei Cycle Show, set in the heart of the world’s cycle manufacturing industry, where demand for space at the significant show far outstrips supply.
The show is put on by TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council) which is keen to develop its already ample international reach. BikeBiz speaks with TAITRA’s executive director of the exhibition department Mr. Yih-Jyh Kang about plans for the show, the state of exports to the UK and Europe and the trends you can expect to see from the pivotal event…
BikeBiz: How successful was Taipei Cycle Show this year?
Yih-Jyh Kang, TAITRA:The Taipei Cycle Show, in its 26th year in 2013, brought together 1,103 exhibitors from 36 different countries, using 3,289 booths (58,000 sqm). As the trend towards Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) gains even greater attention globally, the show attracted in total 7,179 international visitors coming from 107 countries and areas, growing 11.3 per cent in comparison with 2012.
You grew the latest show by extending the exhibition area. Will Taipei Cycle 2014 grow again or be approximately the same in size?
In recent years, the demand for space at the Taipei Cycle has far outstripped the supply. To accommodate more exhibitors, the show is held both at TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall and at TWTC Hall 1 since 2012. The 2014 Taipei Cycle will continue this arrangement, but the show will be approximately the same size as 2013, as TWTC Hall 1 is also out of available space. However, this crunch is about to be relieved by the completion of Nangang Exhibition Hall 2, expected by mid-2016.
What kind of trends can we expect to see at Taipei Cycle Show 2014?
Cycling is now becoming a part of daily life, and personalised accessories, high-tech products, stylish sportswear are becoming integral parts of cycling. And in the coming Taipei Cycle Show, we expect to see advances in material durability and weight, as well as different designs to meet the needs of different groups of cycling population, such as for bicycles for commuters in urban areas.
Innovative ideas and designs do not only originate from name brands, Taipei Cycle also highlights growing number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) devoted to innovation in the cycle industry. For instance, in 2014, 60 companies are first time participants, making Taipei Cycle the best venue to discover new ideas and new suppliers.
At Taipei Cycle buyers will see how Taiwan cycle industry is joining hand with other Taiwan industries that are also highly competitive globally, including information and communication technology. An example is Darfon, an off-shoot of BenQ Group known for its consumer electronics products, has developed electric control system for e-bike.
How have the d&i Awards grown? In the past European companies have been slow to take part, so has that changed?
Yes, indeed. The Taipei Cycle d&i Awards is quickly becoming a hallmark for design & innovation in the cycle industry in Asia. One of the winners of the Gold Award in 2013 was Hamax from Norway. In comparison with the same period last year, the number of entries for the 2014 competition has grown eight per cent. The deadline of the registration will be on December 20, and we look forward to more high-quality entries.
How strong is Taiwan’s export market to the UK and Europe at the moment?
Taiwan exported 2.85 million units in the first three quarters of 2013, with average unit price increasing 7.65 per cent, from US$399.89 to US$430.47.
EU is the largest export market for Taiwan bicycles. During the first three quarters of this year, EU accounted for 51.52 per cent (app.1.47 million units) of all Taiwan bicycle export in volume, and 40.39 per cent (app. US$495 million) in value.
Also in the first three quarters of 2013, UK is the third biggest export market for Taiwan bicycles globally, accounting for 9.71 per cent (approx. US$119 million) of total export in value, a 5.78 per cent growth comparing with the same period last year.
What is the ambition for Taipei Cycle Show over the next five years?
Taipei Cycle is planning for future expansion with the completion of Nangang Exhibition Hall 2, which is located right next to Hall 1. By then we expect to have more than 5,300 booths (approx. 100,000 sqm). On the basis of a platform for high-end and added value bicycle products, we will continue to work with Coliped and UBI France to organise European Pavilions. Meanwhile, efforts will also be devoted to market in Asia, to encourage more Asian buyers and exhibitors to attend our show, including forming country pavilions and trade delegations. Through all these means, we hope to make Taipei Cycle a complete global bicycle sourcing platform.
Further expansion in LEV Exhibits and other exhibit domains is expected too: As global cycling population increases, the development of LEV (light electric vehicles) steadily advances. LEVs are particularly favoured not only by seniors, but also by younger generation to cope with the lack of parking space in urban areas, rising petroleum price, as well as to combat global warming. The recent Navigant Research pointed out that global sales of LEV will increase from 630 million Euros in 2013 to 810 million Euros in 2020, growing 28.6 per cent. When the new hall is completed, Taipei Cycle will enlarge its LEV Pavilion, and exhibits on other products, technology and services for cycling. Clothing and footwear, accessories and high-tech electronic devices for cyclists are other domains that we will expand in the future.
Why should the UK cycle trade come to Taipei Cycle Show 2014?
Taipei Cycle Show gathers high-end manufacturers that provide high quality products with reasonable prices for all aspects of cycling. Buyers can meet high-potential partners from Taiwan and different parts of the world at Taipei Cycle, and then actually visit manufacturing sites clustered around Taichung.
In 2014 the show is teamed up with three other shows on sports, namely TaiSPO (the Taipei International Sporting Goods Show), SPOMODE (The Taipei International Sports Textile & Accessory Expo and DiWas (the Taiwan International Diving and Water Sports Show). Together, these shows offer a large variety of sports products including bicycles, fitness equipment, sports clothing and accessories as well as products and equipment for swimming, diving and water sports. 1,500 exhibitors occupying over 5,000 booths will participate in Asia’s largest sports equipment event, to create the most convenient platform for sourcing from Asia.
Taiwan is also rapidly developing the infrastructure for cycling, including building over 50 bicycle lanes around scenic areas. We also cordially invite our visitors to spend some time cycling here, and enjoy the beauty of Taiwan.