Asher Yarden, the representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said in the year 2017, he hopes to increase the number of Taiwanese tourists to Israel stating that the number of Taiwanese tourists is between 6,000 and 7,000 which is far from satisfaction even though the number rose from 3,000 in 2010 to around 6,000 in 2014. He will discuss with airline companies both in Taiwan and Israel on the feasibility of direct flight services in the future.
Asher Yarden said the trade volume of US$1.5 billion dollars can also be enhanced. More can be done to increase the understanding of both sides as the Israeli representative says peoples of both sides do not know much about each other and he will do more to promote the bilateral trade relations.
Turkish representative, Ambassador Ismet Erikan has been actively promoting Turkey to Taiwanese. He said October is a Turkish month filled with many Turkish cultural activities. Ambassador Ismet Erikan said the launching of the direct flight between Taipei and Istanbul opens a window of opportunity for both Taiwanese and Turkish. He hopes the cargo flight will be filled with merchandise from Turkey to Taiwan one day.
Ambassador Ismet Erikan is a seasoned diplomat and he has been promoting cultural exchanges by helping Turkish artists hold exhibitions in Taiwan. He said cultural diplomacy touches the heart of the people and he vows to go to one university to lecture on Turkey in Taiwan. He even goes to elementary and middle schools to promote his country.
Turkish representative Ambassador Ismet Erikan said Turkey is just as safe as any other major countries in Europe despite the fact Turkey is still placed under the state of emergency citing that the state of emergency applies more to the government rather than to the public. He said any Taiwanese whom he met that has been to Turkey after the attempted military coup said Turkey is a safe travel destination.
The Turkish representative said Taiwanese can apply the Turkish visa on line without having to pay any fee. He jokingly added that one day at a seminar when he mentioned the whole process could be completed within three minutes, a Taiwanese lady corrected him by saying it took her only two minutes.
The exhibition of Country Focus at Taiwan Designers’ Week 2016 houses a collection of 42 works from Israel in collaboration with Holon Institute of Technology. Professor Dana Arieli, a professor at H.I.T Holon Institute of Technology is in Taiwan to attend the event. She was Dean of Design Faculty at H.I.T Holon Institute of Technology between 2004-2012 and once served as the head of History and Theory Department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Her research deals with interrelations between Art and Politics in both totalitarian and democratic systems. She said when there is an oppression, there is no autonomy in art. She has published a few books and one of them is The Nazi Phantom: A Journey after the Third Reich
For more information on High Contrast at Taiwan Designers’ Week 2016.
Fore more about Prof.Dana Arieli,
DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang said as part of the New Southbound Policy, the government of Taiwan has recently relaxed visa requirements for Southeast Asian tourists, in August, citizens of Thailand and Brunei were granted visa-free entry to Taiwan and in September, visa requirements for nationals of Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos have been relaxed. Similar visa relaxation has been previously granted to passport holders of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang said that with the decrease in the number of mainland Chinese tourists, maybe it is a good time for the travel agencies and tour bus operators to switch their target customers to tourists from Southeast Asia now, adding that she understands the challenges ahead with the lack of tour guides who speak languages of Southeast Asian countries. She said she will also listen to different opinions and concerns voiced by the travel agencies and tour bus operators to help solve the problems together.