Cooperation with ASEAN in the approaching "Age of Asia"
Organization: Department of International Cooperation Publish Date: 2016-07-26 09:06
With the European Union's power ostensibly in decline following successive blows over the past several years, including most recently Brexit, and with the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) actively moving toward greater integration despite widely differing political, social and cultural backgrounds, it seems that the Age of Asia is rapidly approaching.
Japanese companies have long been active in Southeast Asia, viewing the region as both an optimal manufacturing base for exports as well as an important market with more than 300 million consumers. At the same time, ASEAN has become among the leading destinations for foreign direct investment from mainland China. Taiwan has not been absent from this trend, with the recently-inaugurated government promoting a "New Southbound Policy" aimed at enhancing cooperative ties with South Asia and Southeast Asia, especially ASEAN countries.
The policy is people-oriented in nature, with an emphasis placed on communication and respect for human beings, understanding of cultural differences, and learning of local languages.
Many Taiwan universities have been recruiting students from ASEAN countries, with the hopes that after receiving their higher education in Taiwan they will return home and serve as bridges in the role of managers at Taiwanese businesses operating in the region.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has continued in recent years to provide Taiwan students with opportunities to perform summer internships in ASEAN countries. If good use can be made of these numerous students and the specialized knowledge that they have acquired, they could serve as a force to help expand Taiwanese enterprises' business in ASEAN countries, as well as help to open up the new Asian century.