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Taiwan holds trade fair in Somaliland

Somaliland serves as bridge between Taiwan, East Africa: Fair organizers

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Somaliland representative Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud (left) meeting President Tsai Ing-wen (right) Oct. 12  

Somaliland representative Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud (left) meeting President Tsai Ing-wen (right) Oct. 12   (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan opened its first trade fair in Somaliland on Wednesday (Oct. 28) after the two nations mutually opened representative offices in the past two months.

The establishment of a Taiwanese representative office in the East African nation’s capital of Hargeisa in August was seen as a major breakthrough for Taiwan's diplomacy, as it only has one other diplomatic ally in the whole continent, Eswatini in Southern Africa. Somaliland, which is even more diplomatically isolated, opened an office in Taipei on Sept. 9.

Almost 160 local business and political VIPs attended the opening of the two-day 2020 Taiwan Trade Fair, the Liberty Times reported. Products for sale included coronavirus prevention equipment, car parts, clean energy products, and food items. The fair also featured a special section explaining Taiwan’s success in handling the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The organizers said they saw Somaliland as a bridge between Taiwanese manufacturers and the rest of East Africa, with businesses in Somaliland acting as agents and distributors for Taiwanese products.