Trade Office of Swiss Industries Taipei (TOSI) celebrated the Switzerland National Day on August 1st in a special way, inviting guests from various embassies, representative offices and other important personages in Taiwan to enjoy the Zurich Sing Academy (Zürcher Sing-Akademie) concert at the national concert hall in Taipei after the cocktail reception.
The director of Trade Office of Swiss Industries Taipei, Mr.Rolf Frei said the Zurich Sing Academy (Zürcher Sing-Akademie) was invited by the Taipei International Choral Festival to perform in Taipei and he discussed with the organizer if the concert could be arranged on the Switzerland National Day on August 1st. Mr.Frei said this is a unique experience where some 200 guests could enjoy the concert with the rest of the 1200 Taiwanese audience and celebrated the national day at the same time.
Mr.Rolf Frei said his mission in Taiwan is to promote trade and tourism and in November, he will organize an innovation forum with speakers and experts to give speeches on innovation in Switzerland. He hopes the forum will bring together more cooperation between Taiwan and Switzerland in the field of innovation. Innovation is the engine of economic growth in a knowledge-based economy and Taiwan is making the transition to an innovation-based economy while Switzerland is one of the world’s most innovative countries, according to the Global Innovation Index 2017.
Taiwan Sentinel website was established in January, 2017, according the Editor in Chief, J.Michael Cole. Michael Cole has been living in Taiwan since 2005 and has closely monitored the political development of Taiwan. He said he has travelled across the island extensively and has built close contact with people from all walks of life in order to better understand Taiwan. The purpose of setting up Taiwan Sentinel is to defend liberal democratic way of life in Taiwan adding that it serves as a bridge between Taiwan and foreign audience in order to address misperceptions of the Taiwan Strait covered by the international media. Michael Cole is also a senior non-resident fellow with the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, UK and associate researcher with the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China. He was also Editor in Chief of Thinking Taiwan between 2014 and 2016, a product of Dr.Tsai Ing-wen’s Taiwan Thinking Foundation, Taiwan’s premier source of non-partisan analysis about politics and society in Taiwan.More
The Representative of Turkish Trade office in Taipei, Ambassador Ismet Erikan said everyone should remember the tragic incident, the failed coup d’etat that took place in Turkey on July 15, 2016. The coup left around 250 dead and 2,200 injured. The Turkish representative said democracy is hard to gain and to defend adding that Turkey is now safe and the number of tourists has increased including Taiwanese tourists.
Ambassador Ismet Erikan hopes the number of Taiwanese tourists to Turkey will increase from 100,000 to 1 million some day given the fact that around 14 million Taiwanese travel abroad every year.
Ambassador Michel Lu Ching-long was posted in France three times on and off for a period of 16 years in total. Amb.Lu had been devoted to the promotion of bilateral ties between Taiwan and France and his performance of Taiwanese glove puppetry had impressed many important personages and people from different walks of life in France during his posting. On this week’s On the Line, former Taiwan’s representative to France, Ambassador Michel Lu Ching-long shares with us his views on the bilateral exchanges.
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.