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Taiwan motorcycle industry opens with green theme

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Third Taiwan International Motorcycle Industry Show opened yesterday, emphasizing environmental protection with a special pavilion devoted to featuring the most advanced equipment that incorporates green concepts and technology, organizers said. "This year's show has introduced a new slogan -- 'New Era for a Green Planet,' to show Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturers' commitment to environmental protection," Donald Lu, executive vice president of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the main organizer of the exhibition, said in the opening ceremony.

A pavilion has also been set up at the exhibition to showcase Taiwan's fuel-injection (FI) jet engine, which uses less fuel and reduces emissions.

"The FI jet engine makes the fuel consumption of the motorcycle more efficient, so exhaust emissions are reduced," said a staff member at the pavilion who declined to be named, adding that an FI jet engine can reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent compared to a combustion engine, the kind generally used at present. However, consumers have to pay about NT$5,000-NT$8,000 more for the high tech engine, he said.

Taiwan's government stipulated that all new motorcycles on the market must be equipped with FI engines from 2009 to conform with the fifth stage motorcycle emission standard. The fifth stage emission standard, which was put into effect in Taiwan in July 2007, is one of the strictest motorcycle exhaust standards in the world, according to the organizers.

"In Taiwan's motorcycle industry, the supply chain is complete to include the upper, middle and lower-stream business, from motorcycle components to finished products, all of which are full of international market development potential," Eric S.H. Chiang, the deputy director of the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, told foreign and local buyers in his opening remarks.

Taiwan's motorcycle show is the second largest of its kind in Asia, after only Tokyo. The scale of the Taiwan show has been expanding year by year, with an annual growth rate of 13 percent for manufacturers participating and 30 percent for the number of booths set up, organizers said.

About 20,000 visitors are expected at the four-day show, being held in the Taipei World Trade Center this year, from April 9-12, with the first two days reserved for buyers and the last two open to the general public. With a total of 481 booths, the exhibition will include motorcycles, scooters, engines, noise and emission inspection equipment, as well as maintenance equipment and accessories.

Taiwan is the 6th largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, according to Chiang, after China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.

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