Recently there have been rumors that Saint Lucia, an eastern Caribbean nation, might sever ties with Taiwan. Reports that Saint Lucia might switch diplomatic recognition to China have circulated over the last few years, but the relations between Taiwan and Saint Lucia have remained stable. Last year, Saint Lucia signed an agreement with Desert Star Holdings, a Hong Kong-based company, for the development of the Pearl of the Caribbean, a US$2.6 billion project that will include a marina, horse track, casino, free trade zone, shopping complex and housing complex. The plan is to attract mainland Chinese tourists and investors to Saint Lucia.
In an interview with Prof.Denys Springer, former director of the Government Information Service of Saint Lucia and former research fellow of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, he said that he and many other people from different political parties have put pressure on the current government not to establish diplomatic ties with China.
Saint Lucia first established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984, but in 1997, switched recognition to China. In 2007, Taiwan and Saint Lucia resumed diplomatic ties and the relationship was further strengthened with the opening of the embassy of Saint Lucia in Taipei in June 2015, making it the first embassy in Asia.
Taiwan and France have had close relationship for decades. According to former Taiwan’s representative to France, Ambassador Michel Lu Ching-long, 11 agreements have been signed between the two sides and there are 59 ongoing projects on research and science as well as seismology.
Ambassador Michel Lu said around 1800 French students are currently studying in Taiwan as compared to only 10 French students in 1982, so the educational exchange has increased tremendously. Currently around 3,000 Taiwanese students are pursuing education in France.More
Mr.Musawenkosi Aphane, the head of mission of Liaison Office of South Africa in Taipei said South Africa has advanced agro processing but the industry is in the hands of a few businesspeople and his government hopes to expand this industry. Aquaculture is one sector South Africa hopes to grow and the government of South Africa has introduced Operation Phakisa since 2013 and the focus is on ocean economy and health. Taiwan has had close cooperation with South Africa in the areas of agro-processing and aquaculture. Mr.Musawenkosi Aphane said he has seen the highly sophisticated technology in Taiwan and the technology of aquaculture has been transferred to South Africa adding that when he retires, he will engage in aquaculture business with Taiwan.
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.
Mr.Sridaharan Madhusudhanan, the Director General of India-Taipei Association, the Indian representative office in Taiwan said Indian movies have emerged to the center stage in Taiwan recently and recently a blockbuster Dangal has been screened for weeks at major movie theaters in Taiwan. The Indian representative said Indian movies have been the promoter of Indian culture.
Mr.Sridaharan Madhusudhanan is the first foreign diplomat to have taken part in the 9-day Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage in Taiwan and he has also translated the Book of Songs from 11th to 7th centuries in China into Tamil.
Please watch the video interview
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.
Please watch the video interview
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$6 billion dollars and around 90 Taiwanese companies have invested in India. With the government’s New Southbound Policy, will the figure increase? In recent years, Bollywood movies shown in Taiwan have become blockbusters, why? To find out the answers, we are joined in our studio today by Mr. Sridaharan Madhusudhanan, the Director General of India-Taipei Association (ITA), the Indian representative office in Taiwan.
Please watch the video interview
Many wonder how a small country like Israel with no natural resources and a population of 9 million people produces more startup companies than Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and the UK. Taiwan has positioned itself to become the launch site of many tech startups known around the world, what can Taiwan learn from Israel?
According to Ayla Matalon, the Executive Director of MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel and the chairperson of Global Entrepreneurship Network Israel, it is never easy to start startups and inspire the businesspeople to fund innovation and ideas.
Ayla Matalon has a project in Israel called “Entrepreneurship on Tap” which encourages young talents to meet experienced entrepreneurs in bars and talk to them over a glass of beer adding that it is important to contact with people who have done it. Ayla Matalon and other members of the Israeli team were in Taiwan to take part in the Taipei International Dragon Boat Race in early June.More
Prof.Joyce Lin Juoyu, an associate professor of the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations and the director of ASEAN Studies at Tamkang University said Taiwan should have more people-oriented linkage with the rest of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) so that Taiwan can have regional economic integration with those ten countries in the region. Taiwanese businesspeople have invested around USD$ 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.
An Israeli book “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi was translated into traditional Mandarin Chinese and was released in Taiwan in April. This cookbook has a collection of 120 recipes exploring the flavors of Jerusalem which is made up of Muslim, Christian and Jewish culture.
Through this cookbook, one will be able to learn to cook simple dishes known in Jerusalem, Israel.Mr.Asher Yarden, the representative of Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said he himself makes Shakshuka and tabbouleh salad quite often. Shakshuka is a dish of eggs mixed with some herbs and tomato sauce (as seen in the photo above).More
Hikmet Çetinkaya‘s Oil Painting Exhibition- Poppies of Remembrance-In Memory of the Fallen in Gallipoli opens in Taiwan to commemorate the soldiers killed in Gallipoli, Turkey. Volunteers from Australia and New Zealand provided help for the British-led army as the Allies tried to knock the German-allied Ottoman Empire out of the war in 1915. The Turks eventually drove the Allies off their land in a bloody war claiming the lives of 250,000 Turkish soldiers and more than 100,000 allied soldiers, mostly from Australia and New Zealand.
Ambassador Ismet Erikan, the Representative of the Turkish Trade Office in Taipei said Hikmet Çetinkaya is famous for poppy paintings and each poppy represents one fallen soldier. The exhibition in Taipei at Dr.Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall runs from May 5th to May 21st.
Bridge 268 is a campaign in Taiwan to collect used shoes, used sneakers, backpacks and second hand English reading books for children between 7-12 years old in Swaziland, a small country in southern Africa. The charity donation drive was organized by Ms.Zeethu Dlamini, wife of the ambassador of the Kingdom of Swaziland in Taiwan. Ms.Zeethu Dlamini said she hopes to collect 200 used shoes, sneakers and backpacks for 200 students in Swaziland and her idea is to help one school at a time.
If you are in Taiwan and wish to help (donation is until May 30), for details, please visitMore