During his speech, the mayor expressed his gratitude to market vendors and members of the self-governance association for their efforts in keeping the marketplace clean and tidy. He recalled mentioning many times that the best way to get to know a city in 30 minutes is to take a look at its markets – especially traditional markets.
Ko pointed out that local markets are microcosms of the city, demonstrating traits such as city culture, income level, and even moral standards. This is why he place a special emphasis on markets and continue to push for market renovations. Most municipal leaders prefer not to touch markets, because the issue is very complicated and may not be worth the effort. However, he believes that Taipei is an international city and Taiwan is a civilized nation, so overhauling local markets is necessary.
Regarding the progress of the new Huannan Market, the mayor remarked that the first stage of construction has concluded, and the completion date of the second stage is slated for the middle of next year. He expects vendors to start moving back in the second half of 2023.
As for possible challenges, he noted that elements such as environmental hygiene involves changing individual’s habits – having over 1,300 personnel adjust their behavior will likely take a long time. He hopes that by the time the facility reopens next year, Huannan Market will match the standards of Japan’s Toyosu Market and become a major tourist attraction in Asia after the border reopens.
The mayor pointed out that there is always room for improvement in maintaining environmental hygiene, which can only be achieved step-by-step. Possible objectives include strong illuminations, clean floors, glass display installed at meat stalls, and absence of flies. He stressed that these goals cannot be achieved by slogans alone and would require the cooperation of the self-governing association, market vendors, and workers.