Despite not being recognized as the Republic of China under the one-China policy, Taiwan is still hell-bent on strengthening its ties with Indonesia through the New Southbound Policy.
Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen recently released a new initiative called the New Southbound Policy in a bid to strengthen the country’s position in the ASEAN, South Asia, and Asia Pacific regions. So far, it has partnered with more than ten countries for the development of economics and trade.
Last December, Taiwan’s Vice Minister of Ministry of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua arrived in Indonesia to meet with select business leaders and government officials. Taiwan had previously expressed its determination in increasing investment in Indonesia. Therefore, through the meeting, both nations intended to make sure that the new policy would be well implemented.
Under the policy, Taiwan will set up trade offices with service counters in Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and India to “help Taiwanese companies integrate local resources.” Meanwhile, Taiwanese business owners and investors can access more information on partner nations and the initiative in their country.
The Bureau of Foreign Trade has also mentioned that Taiwan and Indonesia are already working on collaborating further to improve various industries, which include shipbuilding, vocational training and production of sugar and salt.
Aside from fostering economic trade, Indonesia and Taiwan are also planning to collaborate in cultural exchange programmes. Currently, Taiwan offers various educational programmes and scholarships to Indonesian students, such as the Taiwan scholarship, which is available for any degree; and the Mandarin scholarship for 25 select people who would like to learn the language.
Today, Indonesia is the tenth-biggest trading partner of Taiwan, while Taiwan is the ninth-largest source of foreign direct investments. With the new policy in full swing, Taiwan can hopefully bank on Indonesia’s fast economic growth.