Since 2014, Taiwan and Austria have had working holiday agreement and both sides signed a declaration in October last year to extend visa validity for participants in their bilateral working holiday program to one year. Mr.Albin Mauritz, the director of Austrian Office Taipei said the original six-month working holiday program was too short for one to explore a country while working and travelling.
The quota of 50 participants from Taiwanese side is filled every year and Mr.Albin Mauritz said he hopes that the number can be increased to 100 even though this year the quota has been raised to 75. The working holiday program is for both nationals between 18 and 30 years of age.
Taiwan has provided medical aid to many countries in the world. A number of NGOs and hospitals in Taiwan have done so and one example is Changhua Christian Hospital in central Taiwan that launched its overseas medical missions in 2008. Dr.Nina Kao Hsiao-Ling, CEO of Overseas Medical Mission Center of Changhua Christian Hospital, said Changhua Christian Hospital has provided medical assistance to Africa, South Pacific, the Caribbean countries and some Asian countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron said France is back and Bruno Duparc, the director of Alliance Française of Taiwan said French is back and the number of students learning French has been increasing. There are around 2,000 Taiwanese students at Alliance Française of Taiwan, not to mention those who major in French at universities in Taiwan. Alliance Française 850 centers in around 130 countries in the world and there are two centers in Taiwan, Taipei and Kaohsiung. Bruno Duparc hopes to establish another center in the central Taiwan city of Taichung in the future.
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Bruno Duparc, the director of Alliance Française of Taiwan said Alliance Française is a non-profit organization founded in 1883 to promote French language learning and French culture. It has 850 centers in around 130 countries in the world and the two centers in Taiwan are located in Taipei and Kaohsiung, northern Taiwan.
Watch Bruno Duparc on You Tube
Three members of the German Bundestag or German Parliament visited Taiwan in May to understand the political, economic and social development in Taiwan. The three members are Mr.Axel Fischer, a member of the Budget Committee, Mr.Carsten Müller, member of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy as well as Mr.Peter Aumer, a member of the Committee on Labor and Social Affairs.
The three members of the German parliament also exchanged views with Taiwanese government officials in the areas of renewable energy and environmental protection policy.More
Indonesian PDI-P (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) or Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle was founded in 1998 with the chairperson, Megawati Sukarnoputri who was also the Indonesian president between 2001 and 2004. BMI (Banteng Muda Indonesia) or Indonesian Young Bulls is a youth wing of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s political party. A group of BMI members led by its Jakarta chapter Dian Eka Yanto visited Taiwan recently to explore opportunities to work with Taiwan and to establish a chapter in Taiwan in the future. Liliyana from the Woman and Children’s Division and Prisca Soetikno, secretary of Law and Human Rights’ Division of BMI share with us their views on BMI.More
Ofer Vardi recently visited Taiwan to explore the possibility of working with a Taiwanese publisher. Ofer Vardi is a publisher and editor-in-chief of LunchBox Press, a publishing company that publishes cookbooks and culinary content in Israel.
Recently four of the cookbooks published by LunchBox Press have been nominated for an award to be presented at The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China. The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is compared to the Oscar Academy Awards for movies, every year they honor the best food and wine books and books from around 200 countries participate in these prestigious awards
“Going Paprikash: The Best of Hungarian Jewish Cuisine”, one of the best-selling books was written by Ofer Vardi himself and the book includes more than 100 easy recipes that he learned from his grandmother’s Hungarian cooking.
The problem of possible electricity shortage has been raised in Taiwan recently and the plan to construct a coal-fired plant has received some criticism. Mr.Albin Mauritz, the director of Austrian Office Taipei said Austria has banned the use of nuclear power plants, adding that the referendum to abolish nuclear power was passed in 1978.
Austria has turned to renewable energy and now around 70% of the country is powered by renewable energy especially wind energy and hydropower. Austria is the leading country in Europe when it comes to using hydropower.
What can Taiwan learn from Austria? Mr.Albin Mauritz, the director of Austrian Office Taipei shares with us his views on renewable energy development in Austria.More
A group of journalists from Asia-Pacific recently visited Taiwan and I had a chance to interview four of them, namely Mr.Vince Alvic Alexis Nonato from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the largest newspaper in the Philippines, Alen Moni Mathews, senior sub editor of the New Indian Express, one of the four major English newspapers in South India, Mohd Asim Khan, principal correspondent of Indo-Asia News Service, the largest independent news service in India and Jonathan Underhill, the founder of Business Desk, New Zealand’s most widely disseminated source of business and market news.More
Prof.Yossi Leshem, the most well-known ornithologist (bird researcher ) in Israel said they are working on the project called “saluting flights” to welcome the swifts in the spring of 2019 in cooperation with Muslims, Christians and Jews along the border of Jordan. Prof.Leshem will also invite Dr.Jane Goodall to join the event and to raise resources for cross-border projects.
Prof.Leshem has been known for the use of barn Owls and Kestrels as biological pest control agents and have made one-time enemies to become friendlier on preventing bird strikes. He was once invited by Taiwan to take part in the research to reduce disasters as a result of birds striking airplanes.
To find out more, we are joined by Prof.Yossi Leshem, a professor of the Department of Zoology of George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University, Israel.More
Cross-cultural Jazz Night was held in Taipei in late April and it brought together jazz musicians from Taiwan and Indonesia for the first time. Sri Hanuraga Aga, an Indonesian jazz recording artist, producer and music educator said he hopes to see more collaboration between Taiwanese and Indonesian musicians. In his personal view, he thinks there is a fusion of traditional music with pop music in the Chinese music industry in Taiwan and he hopes that the government of Indonesia will help promote the incorporation of folk and traditional music such as Dangdut into pop music.
Sri Hanuraga Aga obtained his master’s degree in jazz piano at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, a Dutch academy of music in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He also teaches piano at Universitas Pelita Harapan Conservatory of Music, a private music school founded in 2000 in Indonesia as well as at Institut Musik Daya Indonesia, a music academy in Indonesia.
The US plans to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries including from Taiwan. Dr.Roy Lee, deputy director of the Taiwan WTO and RTA Center of Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research said Taiwanese investors might want to think about investing somewhere else or in the US apart from investing in China as this will help spread the risk Dr.Roy Lee added that Taiwan should also expect some collateral damage from the China-US trade war because in the last two decades, Taiwan's economic performance has relied heavily on the triangular relationship between Taiwan,China and US.More
US President Trump announced on March 22 that a US$50 billion punitive tariff scheme on 1300 Chinese products would be imposed and China announced on March 23 that it would put up to 25% tariffs on 128 US exports and many say this will hurt US farmers and vineyard owners as these products would be wine, fruit, pork and most importantly soybeans.
Dr.Roy Lee, deputy director of the Taiwan WTO and RTA Center of Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research said 25% tariff would put US producers to a disadvantage level adding that in trade practices, 5% tariff or above would be considered as a high tariff. A tariff is a tax on goods coming into a country.More