Taiwan pursues ‘New Southbound Policy’ in Asean

by Recto Mercene / October 10, 2016 / BusinessMirror

Taiwan reported on Monday that it had launched the “New Southbound Policy” in September to focus on forging long-term comprehensive, multifaceted, two-way, reciprocal and mutually beneficial relations with the Asean and bloc’s dialogue partners.

These include South Asian countries, New Zealand and Australia, which have economic and trade cooperation, personnel exchanges, resource sharing and regional linkages with the region.

“We aim to forge a sense of economic community with these nations to help Taiwan identify new directions and build new momentum for its economic development,” says Dr. Gary Song-Huannlin, the Republic of China (Taiwan) representative to the Philippines during their 10th National Day Celebration at the Sofitel Hotel.

He said the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 30 percent of the world’s area and 60 percent of the world’s population. It enjoys growing influence in global political and economic development.

Song said Taiwan strives to safeguard the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait while respecting public opinion and democratic principles, “and 88.9 percent of Taiwanese, enjoying full democracy,  are opposed to the unilateral unification [so-called One China] policy.”

He said the Taiwan government will adhere to public opinion and democratic principles, respect historical facts and the existing political foundation, and abide by its  Constitution, the act governing relations between the peoples of the Taiwan area and the Mainland area, as well as other related laws and regulations.” Song said the Philippines and Taiwan  have  been enjoying mutually beneficial close relations.

“The bilateral cooperative ties are wide-ranging, including many areas ranging from trade, investment, industry, technology and science, agricultural, fishery,  labor tourism, aviation, shipping, energy  and even weather forecasting, etc.”

Song said in 2015 Taiwan was the Philippines’s fifth-largest trading partner, ninth export market and fourth import source of the Philippines.

“In terms of investment, in 2015, the total recorded Taiwanese investments in the Philippines jumped to P5.46 billion (about $121 million), an 83.4-percent increase—making Taiwan the Philippines’s third-fastest growing investment source.

He added that the Philippines, being Taiwan’s second-largest export partner, shipped $7.45 billion worth of goods. It is also the “11th-largest trading partner of Taiwan in the world, with bilateral trade amounting to $9.27 billion in 2015.”

According to Song, the Philippine-Taiwan partnership is also reflected  in  the presence  of  the 135,000 Filipinos are currently working in Taiwan mainly in the information and communications technology sector and optical products.  Aside from the overseas Filipino workers, there are approximately 8,000 young  Filipino married couples living in Taiwan. He said some 180,000 Taiwanese tourists visited the Philippines in 2015, an increase of 34.82 percent from last year,  making Taiwan the sixth top visitors’ source. Read more…


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