The Israeli Economic Office in Taipei recently ran a successful week of events, bringing Israeli water experts and companies to the doorstep of Taiwan’s water industry leaders. This activity comes on the heels of a Taiwanese delegation to Israel this January, organized by Israel NewTech and The Israel Economic Mission in Taipei, and towards WATEC, which will take place in Israel on September 12-14. We spoke with Ran Yehezkel, Economic Attaché in Taipei, to gain perspective on the opportunities Taiwan presents for Israel’s water sector:
“Taiwan is now going through a ‘dry period’ – their perspective is changing quickly, and awareness is growing as to the need to manage water effectively,” explains Yehezkel. Taiwan has two major water authorities, Taiwan Water Corporation (TWC) which serves 17 million people, and Taipei Water Department (TWD) which serves a population of 6 million. Senior managers from both attended the recent seminar, which hosted 120 attendees. Israeli companies TaKaDu, IDE and Netafim presented at the seminar, as did Lior Konitzki, deputy head at the Israel Export Institute and Danny Laker, head of the security arena at the Israel Water Authority.
“Taiwan’s water system is outdated, and they are advancing a very large effort to revamp the country’s water system, at an estimated investment of $9 billion,” explains Yehezkel. “This budget will include international tenders, which present a clear and well-defined business opportunity for Israeli water technology companies, especially as Taiwan already recognizes and appreciates the Israeli ‘water miracle.’”
The main technologies the Taiwanese water industry is interested in are water management, leak prevention and minimizing water loss, water purification & treatment and water safety. “Typhoons create a water safety problem in Taiwan, as heavy rains can lead to a mixing between clean water and wastewater. Additionally in Taiwan there is almost no water treatment,” explains Yechezkel.
Another opportunity lies in the large semiconductor chip manufacturing area in the south of Taiwan, with many active factories, which also require large quantities of water in their production process.
“We recently met with the Taiwanese Minister of Science and Technology, who is in charge of 3 science parks in Taiwan. He is planning to organize a delegation to WATEC in September, as is Dr. Lai, the director general of the Taiwanese Water resource agency. These are the most senior people in Taiwan’s water sector, so we expect a very senior, relevant Taiwanese delegation to WATEC,” concludes Yehezkel.
Adi Yefet, head of the water sector at Israel NewTech, who together with Israel NewTech head Oded Distel, hosted the Taiwanese delegation in January, adds: “Taiwan is a prime example of a promising new market for Israeli water technologies – with a growing awareness and need for water technologies, and an appreciation of Israeli technologies. In addition, the particular needs of the chip manufacturing industry is the sort of new market we at Israel NewTech work on identifying and opening. We have already defined and helped Israeli companies enter the oil & gas, pharmaceutical and food & beverage sectors with their water technology solutions. The semiconductor industry, which also has a high demand for water in their manufacturing process, is another promising avenue for Israeli water technology companies to do business.”