MOFA reports Q1 accomplishments on economic diplomacy

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — In cooperation with economics-related agencies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has helped increase foreign investment in Taiwan and procurement by foreign companies in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period of 2019.

In the January-March period, foreign investment increased by 40 percent and procurement by foreign companies from Taiwan surged by 109 percent year-on-year, the ministry said in a statement released on Saturday.

MOFA, through its more than 100 offices overseas, has helped attract foreign investment to Taiwan amounting to US$350 million for the first three months of the year, compared to US$250 million recorded in the same period of last year, the ministry said.

On the other hand, foreign companies’ procurements from Taiwan reached US$230 million in Q1, compared to the US$110 million recorded during the same period last year, the MOFA said.

In terms of the government’s New Southbound Policy (NSP), Taiwan’s total trade with NSP-target countries reached US$27.37 billion in Q1, a 5 percent year-on-year increase compared to the US$26.09 billion recorded in the same period of last year, MOFA said.

The NSP is an initiative launched by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in 2016 to enhance Taiwan’s exchanges with countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia plus Australasia and New Zealand.

“MOFA overseas offices continue their efforts in pushing forward Taiwan’s economic and trade relations with NSP-target countries. These efforts include assisting Taiwanese companies winning bids for five projects worth NT$49 million (US$1.64 million) in total,” MOFA said.

Aside from those, MOFA has also set up demonstration farms in Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as a model mushroom farm in the northern Philippines, it said.

In terms of strengthening bilateral economic relations, MOFA has facilitated the passage of 16 Taiwan-friendly resolutions and legislations in the United States, including the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act, which encourages the U.S. trade representative to further strengthen trade and economic relations with Taiwan, MOFA said.

In addition, MOFA has facilitated the signing of 12 economic agreements or memorandums of understanding with several other countries, such as an agreement on mutual recognition of organic products between Taiwan and New Zealand and the Taiwan-Australia Organic Equivalency Arrangement, it said.

MOFA has also brought overseas digital opportunities to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic, taking information and communication technology, biomedical technology and green energy as major pillars, to improve the country’s international cooperation in coronavirus control, it said.

“MOFA will continue to collaborate with related government agencies in watching international trends in economic and trade developments, to export the Taiwan experience and explore more potential opportunities for Taiwan’s industries,” the ministry said.