A Vietnamese language version of the New Southbound Policy Portal operated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was unveiled Jan. 5 as part of ongoing government efforts to raise regional awareness of the NSP.
Featuring in-depth information, news reports and updates, the portal is widely considered an authoritative one-stop shop for latest policy developments. Since launching last year in Chinese, English and Indonesian, it has experienced increased web traffic and played a key role in deepening understanding of the NSP at home and abroad.
A key component of President Tsai Ing-wen’s national development strategy, the policy seeks to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
Taiwan carries out exchanges across a broad spectrum of areas such as education and tourism with Vietnam. According to the Ministry of Education, 3,165 Vietnamese students attended university-level classes in Taiwan during the 2016 academic year. This makes the Southeast Asian nation the second largest source of international students to Taiwan out of the 18 NSP target countries.
People-to-people exchanges between the two sides are scaling new heights on the back of relaxed Republic of China (Taiwan) visa regulations for Vietnam passport holders and significant growth in direct flights. According to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vietnam, there were 248 flights per week between Taiwan and Vietnam’s major cities in mid-2017, up from 104 the year before.
Statistics from the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications reveal Vietnamese visitors to Taiwan more than doubled year on year between January and July 2017 to about 218,000, while ROC nationals traveling to Vietnam rose 19 percent to around 330,000 during the same period.
According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, two-way trade between Taiwan and Vietnam totaled US$12.3 billion for 2016, up from US$8.81 billion in 2010. (JSM)
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