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Taipei hopes to impress with 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo
Central News Agency
2009-08-29 01:30 PM
By Lillian Lin CNA Staff Writer Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) The venue of the 2010 Taipei International Gardening and Horticulture Expo will reflect the diversity of the host city, stretching from the scenic Yuanshan hill and Xinsheng Park along the Keelung River to the commercially active Neihu hi-tech park and Zhongshan North Rd.

But the Taipei City government is not simply counting on the exposition's setting to draw visitors.

From Nov. 6, 2010 to April 25, 2011, the modern city hopes to impress the world with colorful touches that showcase Taiwan's bountiful flora, gardening creativity, and unique fusion of horticulture and technology.

Chen Hsiung-wen, commissioner of the city's Department of Economic Development, said the 91.8 hectare expo site is divided into four areas, with 14 exhibition pavilions featuring Taiwan's flora and landscape, gardening and horticulture, and stages for artistic programs.

With the recognition and support of the international community, Taipei won the right to host the event at the spring meeting of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) in April 2006, three years after the Taiwan Floriculture Development Association was admitted as a member.

The Netherlands-headquartered organization represents flower and plant growers and landscape service providers around the world.

Since 1960, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and France have each hosted flora expos more than once, and the Asian cities of Osaka, Japan, Kunming, China, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, have held the event since 1990.

Chen said that the 1990 International Gardens and Greenery Exposition in Osaka, Japan was an acclaimed success, and Taipei hopes its presentation next year will win similar recognition among flower admirers.

Since creativity and technology have helped Taiwan's horticulture sector achieve breakthroughs, Chen said that he believed the flora industry in Taiwan can make impressive presentation.

As the leading planner of the first internationally accredited exposition in Taiwan, Chen has attended AIPH meetings in Europe and Asia over the past few years to learn from the experiences of other countries and find sources of inspiration to make the expo a success.

Construction of the exhibition halls and neighborhood beautification projects began early this year, and the city government has cooperated with Taiwan's floraculture producers to arrange the most attractive presentation of Taiwan's flowers, plants, and horticulture research and development.

One of the designers' strategies will be to cover the expo's grounds with more than 40 million of Taiwan's indigenous flowers, plants and trees.

Chen said that by hosting the exposition, Taipei City is trying to build its image as a garden city with an emphasis on a balanced ecosystem, but he also indicated it could have a strong stimulative effect on a number of sectors.

The NT$3.53 billion investment in the exposition, for instance, is expected to help Taiwan's horticulture sector boost its production value by 23 percent, according to a Council of Agriculture estimate.

The tourism sector is also expected to benefit, as the exposition could draw 6 million visitors from home and abroad and sell NT$2.6 billion in tickets.

Chen also estimated that the show will inject an additional NT$8.8 billion into the local economy indirectly during its six-month run, as tourists spend money on local accommodation, food, and other purchases.

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