Taoyuan airport sees more contacts with ‘New Southbound’ countries

Taiwan's New Southbound Policy focuses on 16 countries in Southeast and South Asia along with Australia and New Zealand.

Taipei, July 4 (CNA)-Data provided by Taoyuan International Airport Corp., which oversees the main gateway to the country, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, shows increasing contacts between Taiwan and countries targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy, the company chairman said Wednesday.

The policy, conceived to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China and enhance ties with other countries in the region, focuses on 16 countries in Southeast and South Asia along with Australia and New Zealand.

The airport transported 10.19 million passengers to and from those countries last year, up 16.2 percent from 2016, said company chairman Tseng Dar-jen (曾大仁) at a forum to discuss the future development of Taiwan’s aviation industry.  It has received 5.54 million such passengers in the first six months of 2018, a 9.8 percent year-on-year increase, Tseng said.

On the trade side, the airport handled 400,000 tonnes of cargo with the 11 New Southbound countries that had aviation trade with Taiwan last year, which was about 20 percent of total cargo volume handled and marked a rise of 10 percent from 2016.

The airport handled 167,000 tonnes of cargo to and from the same countries from January to May, a 6 percent increase on the same period last year, Tseng added.

With most of the cargo being re-exported to third countries, Taiwan is becoming a key cargo transportation hub for the New Southbound countries, Tseng said.
(By Chiu Chun-chin and Lee Hsin-Yin)