Taiwan-US workshop on fostering digital inclusion opens in Taipei

MOFA Deputy Minister Paul Wen-liang Chang (front, fourth left), AIT Acting Director Robert Forden (front, fifth left) and local and international expe

An international workshop exploring ways to bridge the digital divide and enhance broadband penetration in the Asia-Pacific kicked off Dec. 4 in Taipei City, bringing together experts and policymakers from across the region to share information and best practices.

Jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Institute in Taiwan, the five-day event is being staged under the Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation and Training Framework, a platform launched in 2015 for expanding collaboration on major regional and global issues.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, MOFA Deputy Minister Paul Wen-liang Chang said that Taiwan eagerly contributes its expertise and experience in fostering digital inclusion through organizing and participating in international platforms. The nation’s commitment in this regard is evidenced by workshops under GCTF as well as the annual Taiwan-U.S. Digital Economy Forum, he added.

According to AIT Acting Director Robert Forden, expanded internet access and greater digital inclusion are the foundation for open, cohesive democracies in the modern age. Through events such as this, Taiwan and the U.S. can combine their economic strengths to tackle challenges and share experiences for the benefit of their partners around the world, he said.

The workshop will feature discussions on local and international development trends in broadband management, policies and promotion. Participants will also highlight ways to address digital infrastructure challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and methods for advancing digital opportunity through enhancing connectivity in communities.

Keynote speakers include MOFA Ambassador-at-Large Chen Jen-ran and Troy Tanner, deputy chief of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s International Bureau. Attendees consist of digital policy and planning officials and experts from Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, as well as Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Since the inception of GCTF, Taiwan and the U.S. have organized 10 workshops under the platform in areas including education, e-commerce, energy, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, public health and women’s empowerment. To date, more than 200 representatives from over 30 countries have attended these events.