With pandemic-related travel restrictions likely to be lifted by next spring, the organisers of the Taipei Cycle Show are optimistic that 2023’s edition can return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of both exhibitors and international visitors and buyers. According to high-profile speakers at a press conference September 13, the focus of the show will be on sustainability, digitisation and resilient supply chains.
Next week, Taichung Bike Week will be held in Taiwan’s second-largest city – known as the heart of the nation’s bicycle industry. The big question is how large the international attendance at this B2B event will be this year as Taiwan has only lifted the visa requirements for select countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the European Schengen member states and its diplomatic allies as of Monday, September 12th. Since the 3+4 quarantine rule still needs to be followed international visitors had to book their tickets and leave for Taiwan immediately if they wanted to attend the show. Due to this tight schedule, TAITRA and Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), organisers of the Taipei Cycle Show, decided to hold a press conference that was live-streamed on YouTube.
The most important speakers at this press conference were Gina Chang, Secretary General of the Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA), TAITRA chairman James Huang, KMC Chain chairman Robert Wu and Ken Li, Giant Group. The latter three also were part of a panel discussion on current trends and challenges in the bicycle industry both globally and specifically in Taiwan. As for their expectations of how the bicycle market will develop in a post-pandemic world, all speakers agreed that the market will continue to grow. The reason for this optimistic outlook is that bicycles and e-bikes in particular fit a number of societal and political trends perfectly. Apart from the reduction of traffic’s carbon footprint, active lifestyles and investments in traffic infrastructure were mentioned as driving factors for the ongoing appeal of silent transportation.
Sustainability is key
One big challenge for Taiwan’s bicycle industry is to reduce the environmental impact of its own production. A major reason for this is the pending carbon tax on consumer goods in the EU as an important market. With the “Bicycle Alliance for Sustainability” (BAS), some of the biggest players of Taiwan’s bicycle industry have joined forces to reduce the carbon footprint along its entire supply chain. The alliance already has more than 30 members, amongst those the Giant Group and Merida, and is open for more applications. According to Giant Group spokesman Ken Li, the mantra for the company’s sustainability drive is “reduce, reuse and recycle” — not only for packaging, but also for inputs such as alloys and carbon fiber. It all starts with defining clear goals. Small steps such as a paperless approach in the offices and encouraging emplyees to commute by bike add up to sizable results.
Strong bookings for 2023’s Taipei Cycle Show
KMC chairman Robert Wu made a call to action, as not taking the issue of climate change seriously poses an existential threat to mankind. In terms of eco-friendly production KMC Chain has been an early mover, getting a UN green certificate ten years ago and sticking to that course ever since. Wu stressed the importance of the bicycle in meeting challenges such as energy costs, air pollution and ultimately climate change. Looking ahead to March 2023, Taitra’s chairman James Huang said that a total of 2700 booths have already been booked for the show – which amounts to 80 percent of pre-pandemic bookings. Since travel restrictions are likely to have been lifted by March 2023, Huang expects a lot of international visitors and buyers to return to Taipei’s Nangang Exhibition Center.
2023’s Taipei Cycle Show will be held from March 22nd to 25th in the NEX1 and NEX2 halls of the Nangang Exhibition Center, with the TaiSPO trade show in the NEX1 hall.