Premier Lin Chuan
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The government will set up separate platforms for each of the 18 countries targeted by its “New Southward Policy” and draw up Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for each of them, reports said Friday.
The policy was one of the key elements of President Tsai Ing-wen’s election platform, and has been widely seen as a way of weaning Taiwan’s economy away from its overdependence on rival China.
At a meeting on the subject Friday, Economics Minister Lee Chih-kung reportedly proposed to establish platforms per country to help businesses and investors with their questions regarding those countries. Each country would also form the subject of regular risk assessments, the Cabinet spokesman said.
The “New Southward Policy” targets the ten member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, New Zealand, and six nations in South Asia, namely, India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
The government said it would also provide financial assistance to Taiwanese companies looking to invest in the target countries, while the Financial Supervisory Commission would encourage Taiwanese banks to open more branches there.
After the new government was sworn in last May, the Presidential Office set up a Southward Policy Office headed by former Foreign Minister James Huang, but it was later folded into the Executive Yuan.
Premier Lin Chuan was chairing a full-day meeting with at least 15 ministers Friday to decide more practical details and arrangements for the policy.
Over the past few months, the government already took some related measures, such as a visa waiver for visitors from Thailand.