TAIPEI (CNA) – Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said Tuesday that Indonesia tops the list of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy target countries and that the government values the relations between the two sides.

Chen made the statement during a meeting with a group of visiting Islamic scholars from the Indonesian Ulema Council at the Presidential Office.

Chen noted that over 250,000 Indonesian laborers are working in Taiwan, around 30,000 Indonesian spouses live here, and more than 5,000 students from Indonesia are studying here.

At the same time, approximately 200,000 Taiwanese tourists and businessmen travel to Indonesia each year, he added.

In addition, owing to the fact that Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, the Taiwan government is making efforts to work with local enterprises to build a Muslim-friendly tourism environment, by setting up Halal restaurants and Muslim prayer rooms around the country.

Chen encouraged more Muslim people to visit Taiwan and expressed hope for more cooperation between the two countries in the future. 

By Yeh Su-ping and Isabel Wang