New Southbound Policy countries seek agricultural help: official

2017/10/08 20:05:44
Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中)/CNA file photo

Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) Countries covered by the New Southbound Policy are most interested in cooperating with Taiwan in the agricultural sphere, according to Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中).

In an interview with CNA at the end of September, Deng said Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar have all taken the initiative to seek cooperation with Taiwan, hoping to increase the value of their agricultural products and improve their farming skills.

The trend bodes well for Taiwan's future exports of seeds, farm machines and equipment, and related agricultural products to countries covered by the New Southbound Policy, which should grow by more than 5 percent annually, Deng said.

Also, overall agricultural trade with those countries will grow over 10 percent per year, he said.

Huang Jin-cheng (黃金城), deputy chief of the Council Of Agriculture (COA), told CNA that Indonesia has taken the initiative to ask for assistance in setting up a grain production base.

Indonesia is limited in its grain production due to a lack of irrigation systems, and experts from Taiwan have already been sent to the country to conduct surveys, Huang said.

Huang said Vietnam is the most active in seeking cooperation with Taiwan by sending personnel to Taiwan to receive training while planning and preparing land for Taiwanese investment to create agricultural demonstration areas.

The demonstration areas are to be in Dong Thap and Dong Nai provinces and should be open to Taiwanese businesses moving in by early 2018, Huang said.

The New Southbound Policy, which was launched in September 2016, is aimed at enhancing Taiwan's relations with countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia along with Australia and New Zealand.

(By Ku Chuan and William Yen)
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