Indian official calls for closer economic partnership with Taiwan

Prakash Sawhney (standing on podium)

Prakash Sawhney (standing on podium) (CNA photo)

A visiting Indian information technology official on Wednesday called for a closer economic partnership between his country and Taiwan to tap into the sizable potential that exists between the two economies.

"India and Taiwan have not even scratched the surface of the vast potential that our two economies hold together for each other," said Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary of India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, at the opening ceremony of the Taipei International Electronics Show (Taitronics).

Sawhney said bilateral trade volume between the two sides has grown nearly six-fold over the past two decades from US$1.2 billion in 2001 to over US$7 billion in 2018, and 106 Taiwanese companies had set up business operations in India as of 2018.

Despite the growing exchanges, however, the Indian official said he believed this was just the beginning of even closer business and trade cooperation between the two sides, as his country's geo-strategic stature and market size present "a unique opportunity to Taiwanese investors."

India has over 50,000 startups valued at over US$95 billion, and 30 are "unicorns," or privately held startup companies valued at over US$1 billion, he said.

Sawhney praised the annual bilateral economic consultation meetings between India and Taiwan for bringing "mutually beneficial opportunities" to both sides.

"I am sure that the best times are ahead of us and that we will continue to grow together," he said.

Sawhney's remarks were made as the three-day 2019 Taitronics opened at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center on Wednesday morning.

A total of 475 companies from Taiwan and abroad are exhibiting at the show, and buyers from 16 countries are scheduled to take part in more than 400 face-to-face procurement meetings with suppliers during the show, according to event organizers.