Toastmasters International is an NGO headquartered in the US with the purpose to help its members improve communication, public speaking and leadership skills. Taiwan’s first Toastmaster Club was established in 1958 and the governing body is D67 of Toastmasters International located in Taipei. Trini Ding, the District Director of Taiwan D67 said Toastmasters D67 is a two-day conference that welcomes over 700 Toastmasters and guests to watch the finals where members will compete at the speech contest. Mayumi Hu, a member of the organizing committee said the registration starts now and they are making big efforts to make the big contest a huge success in Taiwan.
Welcome to the first edition of On the Line in the year 2017. On today’s show, I will revisit some of the favorite interviews from the past 12 months in 2016. We first start off with an interview with the former ambassador of Sao Tome and Prince, Ambassador António Quintas that I did in early 2016. Taiwan severed diplomatic ties on Dec.21, 2016 with Sao Tome and Principe, a West African country that established ties with Taiwan in 1997.
Some of the interviews include:
1. Former UK representative in Taiwan, Mr.Chris Wood. Mr.Wood left Taiwan in late August for a new
appointment in Beijing.
2. The Ambassador of St.Lucia, Ambassador Hubert Emmanuel .Saint Lucia is an island country
located in the eastern Caribbean Sea and opened an embassy in Taiwan in June, 2015.
3. Datuk Adeline Leong, the representative of Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre (MFTC)
4. Former Ambassador of Nauru , Ambassador Ludwig Dowong Keke. Ambassador Keke assumed his
post in 2007 and left in August 2016.
5. DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang
6. Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Alpha Berry
7. Ambassador Ismet Erikan, Representative, Turkish Trade Office in Taipei
8. Mr.Achilles Yeh, the representative of the Mozambique Investment Promotion Centre
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.
The bilateral trade between Taiwan and Israel reached US $1.5 billion dollars in 2015. Asher Yarden, the representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said economic cooperation is important to Israel and in 2016, his office has invited both Taiwanese and Israeli business delegations to visit each other adding that he has also invited Israeli buyers to Taiwan.
Asher Yarden said the signing of the R&D agreement between Taiwan and Israel in 2015 provides a great opportunity for business companies of both sides to work on R&D and develop new products thereby creating new value through integration.More
The Executive Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Mr.Mario Ste-Marie said the signing of the avoidance of double taxation in January 2016 will create a friendlier environment for bilateral investment for further cooperation in technology, health care and clean energy
He added that he hopes to boost cooperation in the area of clean energy as Canada hopes to expand its energy export market to Taiwan. Taiwan depends on energy exports particularly LNG (liquefied natural gas) as gas accounts for around 30% of the total energy consumption. Current supply sources come from Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Taiwan’s demand for LNG will continues to rise as the government promotes the use of natural gas for a low-carbon environment.
Another cooperation is in the area of the indigenous people. In Canada, Mr.Mario Ste-Marie said they are known as the First Nations. The cooperation focuses on education and work of the aboriginal peoples of the two sides.
Taiwan and Canada have enjoyed close bilateral exchanges over the last few decades, this can be seen from the growing number of staff at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei. According to the executive director, Mr.Mario Ste-Marie, the office was founded in 1986 with only three staff members, but today, there’s around 40 staff handling the increasing exchanges.
As a matter of fact, people to people exchanges between Taiwan and Canada started as early as 1871 when a missionary, Dr.George Leslie Mackay arrived in Taiwan and the establishment of Mackay Memorial Hospital in 1912. Canada granted Taiwanese visa-free privileges in November 2010 and Mr.Mario Ste-Marie said as of August this year, the number of Taiwanese has increased by 26% as compared to the previous year. The Canadian has introduced a new entry requirement and starting November this year, all visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to Canada are required to have an eTA (electronic travel authorization).
For more information regarding eTA, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/
Mme.Zethu Dlamini, the wife of the ambassador of the Kingdom of Swaziland, is a fashion stylist and fashion lifestyle blogger. Zethu Dlamini used to work for Al Ostoura International Company, the oldest luxury fashion retailer in the Middle East, based in Kuwait and for KNOCKBOOK, an online advertising company in Kuwait. She lived in Kuwait before her husband was posted in Taiwan. Zethu Dlamini said there is a connection between Taiwan and Swaziland in the area of charity work, citing an example of Project Cannan that helps abandoned children in Swaziland. Zethu Dlamini said she hopes to do more in the future.