Taiwan plans to set up an aquarium fish R&D and export centre in 2011 in an effort of becoming Asia’s main aquarium fish exporter, a Council of Agriculture (COA) official said Wednesday.

Construction is scheduled to commence next year in the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park (PABP).

Right now, the yearly Taiwanese export of aquarium fish is no larger than 3 million USD, while Singapore has an annual export valued well above 60 million USD.

Chen Chien-pin, head of the preparatory office of the PABP, predicts that the value of the Taiwanese aquarium fish export will exceed that of Singapore when the centre as been in operation for five years.

The estimated price tag for the new facility is 1.19 billion New Taiwan Dollars, which is roughly equivalent of 37 million USD.