TAIPEI (CNA) – The number of tourists from countries covered under the government’s New Southbound Policy who visited Taiwan between January and August registered a 36.04 percent growth from the same period of last year, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) report released Tuesday.
During the period, Taiwan saw nearly 1.4 million tourist arrivals from the 18 countries covered by the policy, among which, Vietnam emerged as the largest source of visitors with a whopping 113 percent increase from the same period of last year, the report said.
The number of visitors from Thailand and the Philippines also posted more-than 70 percent growth, thanks to a more convenient visa policy introduced by the government for tourists from Southeast Asia, it added.
Meanwhile, trade between Taiwan and countries covered by the policy reached US$82.298 billion between January and September, a 19.03 percent growth from the same period of last year.
The effectiveness of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy has been becoming more and more apparent, with continuous exchanges increasingly highlighting Taiwan’s role in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the MOFA report.
Foreign Minister David Lee (李大維) was expected to present the report to the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee the following day. •
By Ku Chuan and Ko Lin