TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Representatives from Southeast Asian countries voiced their interest in strengthening cooperation with Taiwan during a visit to the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) at Wufeng in Taichung City on May 17.
The six dignitaries hail from India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines – the nations the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen focuses on boosting relations with as part of its New Southbound Policy.
According to Director-General Sridharan Madhusudhanan (史達仁) of the India-Taipei Association, India and Taipei inked an MOU on agricultural cooperation in 2016, laying the foundation for the two sides to push for closer ties. He said that India, whose economy is heavily reliant on agriculture, boasts over 80 varieties of mango, for example.
Noting that government officials from the country are scheduled to visit Taichung World Flora Exposition taking place this November, he looks forward to seeing advanced bilateral cooperation in agricultural projects, reported the Liberty Times.
Sources familiar with th government of Taiwan have also confirmed such plans, adding that India has shown a particular interest in bamboo processing, an area of expertise expected to be put on the agenda in the talks between the two sides on agriculture and fisheries in November.
The group of foreign representatives toured the cultivation room for king oyster mushroom, the greenhouse for passion fruit, and were introduced to the unmanned aerial vehicle technologies employed to monitor rice paddies.
Datuk Adeline Leong (馮淑娟), the representative of the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre, was impressed at Taiwan’s knowhow in growing unusually large-sized mushrooms and inquired about the possibility for Malaysian farmers to receive professional assistance from Taiwan.
Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei Representative Tran Duy Hai (陳維海) also sought to conduct exchanges with TARI as the country has proposed to establish an agriculture research facility in Hanoi driven by its high-tech agriculture development program.
Dignitaries including Indian and Malaysian representatives visited passion fruit cultivation site. (Photo by CNA)