The 2017 International Holocaust Remembrance Day was in Taipei on January 19. This year marks the second year that Taiwan has held International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is usually observed on January 27. The event was jointly organized by Israeli and German representative offices as well as Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and the Central Library.
President Tsai Ing-wen was invited to make a speech and she said she hoped to see Taiwan and Israel undertake more cooperation in culture and education so that lessons of the holocaust will not be forgotten. The president cited an example of the error made by students of Kuang Fu Senior High School in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan who dressed up in Nazi uniforms at their school anniversary in December last year adding that Taiwan’s society does not have enough understanding of what happened to the Jewish people.
Mr.Asher Yarden, the representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said six million Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust and it is not merely a figure but it represents the lives of six million people. It took 70 years for the number of Jewish people in the world to reach nearly 16.6 million of 1939 before the Nazi genocide began.
Mr. Sridaharan Madhusudhanan, the Director General of India-Taipei Association (the Indian representative office in Taiwan) said the relations between Taiwan and India have been growing. Currently there are around 3,000 Indian nationals living in Taiwan and among them, 1,000 are students pursuing higher education. The number of students can be increased as compared to more than 160 thousand Indian students in the US, but Indian students are concerned about the instability of scholarships provided to them. Another factor is that it is hard for them to find employment after graduation.But some universities provide them with jobs in Taiwanese companies in India. Around 90 Taiwanese companies have invested in Taiwan and these students can serve as a connecting link between Taiwan and India.
The Indian representative said the bilateral cooperation is not confined to education and trade, but has extended to railway heritage and both sides signed a letter of intent in late December 2016. This will pave way for both sides to protect and manage the mountain railway heritage. Taiwan and India each constructed mountain railways including the Alishan Forest Railway in Taiwan and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Kalka Shimla Railway and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in India between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2005,UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and in 2008 The Kalka Shimla Railway became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Taiwan and India have enjoyed close bilateral exchanges in many areas including trade, education, science and technology and culture. The bilateral trade amounts to around US$6 billion dollars and around 90 Taiwanese companies have invested in India. With the government’s New Southbound Policy, will the figure increase? In recent years, Bollywood movies shown in Taiwan have become blockbusters, why? To find out the answers, we are joined in our studio today by Mr. Sridaharan Madhusudhanan, the Director General of India-Taipei Association (ITA), the Indian representative office in Taiwan.
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Many wonder how a small country like Israel with no natural resources and a population of 9 million people produces more startup companies than Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and the UK. Taiwan has positioned itself to become the launch site of many tech startups known around the world, what can Taiwan learn from Israel?
According to Ayla Matalon, the Executive Director of MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel and the chairperson of Global Entrepreneurship Network Israel, it is never easy to start startups and inspire the businesspeople to fund innovation and ideas.
Ayla Matalon has a project in Israel called “Entrepreneurship on Tap” which encourages young talents to meet experienced entrepreneurs in bars and talk to them over a glass of beer adding that it is important to contact with people who have done it. Ayla Matalon and other members of the Israeli team were in Taiwan to take part in the Taipei International Dragon Boat Race in early June.More
Prof.Joyce Lin Juoyu, an associate professor of the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations and the director of ASEAN Studies at Tamkang University said Taiwan should have more people-oriented linkage with the rest of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) so that Taiwan can have regional economic integration with those ten countries in the region. Taiwanese businesspeople have invested around USD$ 19 billion dollars in ASEAN and should also increase more investment in emerging markets such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
Apart from ASEAN, Taiwan should also increase cooperation with 18 target countries in the New Southbound Policy including Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.More
Last year, Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei donated 117 earthquake-proof tables invented by Israelis, to the city of Tainan, southern Taiwan with funds that were allocated for Israeli National Day reception. This year, Mr.Asher Yarden, the Israeli representative said his office works with a major international chain hotel and other sponsors to extend assistance to the underprivileged in Taitung, Eastern Taiwan. Mr.Asher Yarden said they visited schools and NGOs in Taitung and made donations to help them. Taiwan even though is a developed economy, Mr.Yarden said his office still hopes to provide assistance to the underprivileged groups and to give back to the society in Taiwan.
An Israeli cookbook, translated in traditional Chinese, was released in Taiwan in April and asked whether his office will get more Israeli books translated into traditional Chinese, the Israeli representative said his answer was affirmative because many readers in Taiwan are still interested in Israeli books. Next year, Israel will be the theme country of the Taipei International Book Exhibition and the Israeli representative said he will promote Israel thorough Israeli literature.