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Increased bilateral exchanges key to drawing Taiwanese students to India

Deputy representative Chen Mu-min says few Taiwanese familiar with Indian culture

Deputy Representative to India Chen Mu-min.

Deputy Representative to India Chen Mu-min. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chen Mu-min (陳牧民), Taiwan’s deputy representative to India, on Thursday (June 23) shared his thoughts on how to encourage more Taiwanese to study in India.

In an interview with United News Agency of India (UNI), Chen said very few Taiwanese students choose India for education because of their lack of knowledge of Indian culture, religions, and the Hindi language. Other factors include the longer time required for formal education in India and the difficulty of master's and doctoral courses, he said.

Chen suggested the Indian government promote subjects like Ayurveda, philosophy, and Hindi in Taiwan to attract local students to study in India. “I will say that the first step is that the (government) could set up some kind of program or centers in Taiwan,” he said, adding that it should sponsor scholars to study in Taiwan and introduce these topics.

The deputy representative also recommended strengthening bilateral relations through cultural exchanges such as a Taiwan Film Festival. He proposed more exchanges between the film industries of Taiwan and India in order to make such an event possible in the future.

Chen said that at present, no Bollywood films have been filmed in Taiwan. They are mostly filmed in European and American countries, Hong Kong and Singapore, he said. He emphasized the Taiwan government provides subsidies for filming in Taiwan.

Commenting on Taiwan companies investing in India, Chen pointed out two major problems: “Firstly, most Indian government policies are to attract big companies but 80-90% of Taiwanese companies are small and medium-sized … So, unless the companies come in clusters and work together, it will be difficult to do business here.”

Another issue he brought up was that Indian states also have their own laws and investment incentives due to the nation’s federal system. “About 80% of Taiwanese companies are in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as they provide more incentives to attract foreign investments,” he said.

Chen said the relationship between Taiwan and India still has a lot of room for development.