Tesco has struck a deal with the government in Taiwan to help local manufacturers secure supply deals with the retailer. The memo of understanding, signed with Taiwan's minister of economic affairs Lin Yi-fu in London, makes Tesco a strategic partner of government. Under the deal, Tesco will offer local suppliers technical advice and support as well as more detailed forecasting information to help them plan production schedules more effectively, said a spokesman. "We are bringing in new suppliers to help them get up to the standard to supply Tesco own label and branded goods locally. The next step is getting them in a position to export, where we put them in touch with our global buying hubs in Hong Kong and Bangkok. "It's a win win situation. Suppliers get more business and we get better quality, service and prices." Tesco's progress in Taiwan has been slow but steady since it entered the market in December 2000, he added. "The biggest problem is finding good sites. Competition from Carrefour, RT-Mart and Geant (Auchan) is fierce and it's turning into a battle between the respective site acquisition teams. But we are confident of opening about two stores a year." Tesco has three stores in Taiwan, with a fourth scheduled to open in Chungli City this year. A fifth is planned for Taipei City next year. {{NEWS }}