President Tsai Ing-wen launched the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation Aug. 8 in Taipei City, describing the think tank as the tip of the spear in public-private sector efforts advancing the government’s New Southbound Policy.
The foundation is an NSP milestone designed to serve as a source of high-quality policy recommendations, Tsai said. It will also facilitate cooperation and exchanges among nongovernmental organization representatives, opinion-makers, think tank staffers and youth representatives from home and abroad.
A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the NSP seeks to enhance 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.
According to the president, the foundation will organize the annual Yushan Forum, raise global awareness of the NSP and strengthen links between Taiwan and the policy’s 18 target countries. It is further evidence of the government’s deep-seated commitment to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia, she said.
The forum—first staged last October in Taipei—was attended by around 800 participants from more than 20 countries, including current and former government officials, as well as civil society and NGO representatives. This year’s edition is expected to focus on boosting economic activity and regional tie-ups via the NSP and other policy initiatives.
Since taking office in May 2016, Tsai has made it the mission of relevant central and local government agencies to cultivate value-added collaboration with NSP target countries. Great strides have been made in this regard, with exciting opportunities emerging in people-to-people exchanges, she said.
This synergy is largely responsible for Taiwan achieving a greater degree of regional inclusiveness and building more partnerships with like-minded partners, the president said. At the same time, the country will continue developing mutually beneficial partnerships for the well-being of the people, she added. (SFC-E)
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