Taiwan and South Africa have had close relations in trade and investment. The bilateral trade amounts to around USD$ 1.8 billion per year. Mr.Musawenkosi Aphane, the head of mission of the Liaison Office of South Africa in Taipei said Taiwanese companies in South Africa employ around 45,000 South Africans and most companies engage in manufacturing and service industries. Bank of Taiwan, established in in 1992 in South Africa, has a full banking license in Johannesburg, thus allowing Taiwanese businesspeople to have more efficient and speedy banking service between Taiwan and South Africa. The South African representative said he hopes Bank of Taiwan will open more branches in his country citing the example that Investec and FNB (First National Bank) of South Africa have deals with banks in Taiwan and the financial transaction has exceeded USD$400 million.
Since 2014, Taiwan and Austria have had working holiday agreement and both sides signed a declaration in October last year to extend visa validity for participants in their bilateral working holiday program to one year. Mr.Albin Mauritz, the director of Austrian Office Taipei said the original six-month working holiday program was too short for one to explore a country while working and travelling.
The quota of 50 participants from Taiwanese side is filled every year and Mr.Albin Mauritz said he hopes that the number can be increased to 100 even though this year the quota has been raised to 75. The working holiday program is for both nationals between 18 and 30 years of age.
The problem of possible electricity shortage has been raised in Taiwan recently and the plan to construct a coal-fired plant has received some criticism. Mr.Albin Mauritz, the director of Austrian Office Taipei said Austria has banned the use of nuclear power plants, adding that the referendum to abolish nuclear power was passed in 1978.
Austria has turned to renewable energy and now around 70% of the country is powered by renewable energy especially wind energy and hydropower. Austria is the leading country in Europe when it comes to using hydropower.
What can Taiwan learn from Austria? Mr.Albin Mauritz, the director of Austrian Office Taipei shares with us his views on renewable energy development in Austria.More
A group of journalists from Asia-Pacific recently visited Taiwan and I had a chance to interview four of them, namely Mr.Vince Alvic Alexis Nonato from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the largest newspaper in the Philippines, Alen Moni Mathews, senior sub editor of the New Indian Express, one of the four major English newspapers in South India, Mohd Asim Khan, principal correspondent of Indo-Asia News Service, the largest independent news service in India and Jonathan Underhill, the founder of Business Desk, New Zealand’s most widely disseminated source of business and market news.More
Prof.Yossi Leshem, the most well-known ornithologist (bird researcher ) in Israel said they are working on the project called “saluting flights” to welcome the swifts in the spring of 2019 in cooperation with Muslims, Christians and Jews along the border of Jordan. Prof.Leshem will also invite Dr.Jane Goodall to join the event and to raise resources for cross-border projects.
Prof.Leshem has been known for the use of barn Owls and Kestrels as biological pest control agents and have made one-time enemies to become friendlier on preventing bird strikes. He was once invited by Taiwan to take part in the research to reduce disasters as a result of birds striking airplanes.
To find out more, we are joined by Prof.Yossi Leshem, a professor of the Department of Zoology of George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University, Israel.More
Cross-cultural Jazz Night was held in Taipei in late April and it brought together jazz musicians from Taiwan and Indonesia for the first time. Sri Hanuraga Aga, an Indonesian jazz recording artist, producer and music educator said he hopes to see more collaboration between Taiwanese and Indonesian musicians. In his personal view, he thinks there is a fusion of traditional music with pop music in the Chinese music industry in Taiwan and he hopes that the government of Indonesia will help promote the incorporation of folk and traditional music such as Dangdut into pop music.
Sri Hanuraga Aga obtained his master’s degree in jazz piano at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, a Dutch academy of music in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He also teaches piano at Universitas Pelita Harapan Conservatory of Music, a private music school founded in 2000 in Indonesia as well as at Institut Musik Daya Indonesia, a music academy in Indonesia.
The US plans to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries including from Taiwan. Dr.Roy Lee, deputy director of the Taiwan WTO and RTA Center of Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research said Taiwanese investors might want to think about investing somewhere else or in the US apart from investing in China as this will help spread the risk Dr.Roy Lee added that Taiwan should also expect some collateral damage from the China-US trade war because in the last two decades, Taiwan's economic performance has relied heavily on the triangular relationship between Taiwan,China and US.More
US President Trump announced on March 22 that a US$50 billion punitive tariff scheme on 1300 Chinese products would be imposed and China announced on March 23 that it would put up to 25% tariffs on 128 US exports and many say this will hurt US farmers and vineyard owners as these products would be wine, fruit, pork and most importantly soybeans.
Dr.Roy Lee, deputy director of the Taiwan WTO and RTA Center of Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research said 25% tariff would put US producers to a disadvantage level adding that in trade practices, 5% tariff or above would be considered as a high tariff. A tariff is a tax on goods coming into a country.More
D-School@NTU was established in 2015. NTU (National Taiwan University) is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Rax Liu, a Chief Innovation Officer of D-School@NTU said the idea is to promote innovation and cooperation between students and faculty members from various departments at NTU and to foster talent and skills for innovation.
On April 14, they are going to organize an event “Project W” at Huashan Creative Park in Taipei. What is Project W? What does D-School@NTU offer? Our guest today is Rax Liu, Chief Innovation Officer of D-School@NTU.
The theme country for the 2018 Taipei International Book Exhibition was Israel. What was unique was that the public in Taiwan was able to experience Israel with all five senses. Mr.Asher Yarden, Israel’s representative in Taiwan said it was an interactive exhibition and the public could see the portrayal of a book with the height of 9 by 9 meters followed by hearing the band performing Israeli music while sipping Israeli wine and non-alcoholic malt as well as enjoying Israeli delicious food.More
A magnitude 6 earthquake hit Hualien, eastern Taiwan on February 6 and left 17 dead and more than 280 injured. One hotel and another mixed-use high rise partially collapsed. The first floor of the mixed-use building was a restaurant and its second and third floors were used as a hotel. Many say the greatest problem many buildings in Taiwan face is severe irregularities such as weak floors, mixed-use high rises, store owners would cut crucial beams or corners to have more open space.
Let’s hear more from Prof.Lee Hong-yuan, a professor of civil engineering at National Taiwan University. Prof.Lee served as the Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014.
The ambassador of Solomon Islands, Amb.Joseph Pius Waleanisia said there are many exchanges going on between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands and he said Taiwan Youth Ambassador Exchange program is instrumental in promoting culture and friendship between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands. The young people from Taiwan visit the Solomon Islands for a week, participate in cultural activities and interact with local students. The ambassador said he hopes to see that happen more.
Amb.Joseph Pius Waleanisia said the Solomon Islands will continue to support Taiwan’s participation in the international organizations as Taiwan and the Solomon Islands share a common concern with world leaders on climate change and other issues such as health and aviation.
The ambassador of Solomon Islands, Amb.Joseph Pius Waleanisia said Taiwan Technical Mission has helped with the agricultural development in the south Pacific country. The ambassador said that he should correct the statement reported in some media that the Solomon Islands imports 90% of its food adding that his country only imports a fair amount of considerable for consumption. Apart from agriculture, Taiwan Technical Mission has helped with pig farming and provided training to help pig farmers.