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Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2023-05-24 17:44
Department of International Cooperation

Taiwan, Eswatini hold successful 25th Economic and Technical Cooperation Conference

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Taiwan, Eswatini hold successful 25th Economic and Technical Cooperation Conference 1
The Economic and Technical Cooperation Conference between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Kingdom of Eswatini was convened on May 23 at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taipei City, with the two sides achieving positive outcomes in terms of boosting bilateral collaborative ties in various areas.

The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of Economic Affairs Mei-Hua Wang and Eswatini Minister of Economic Planning and Development Dr. Thambo Gina, who led a delegation made up of representatives from his own Ministry, the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, and Ministry of Labour and Social Security, as well as officials from Eswatini's Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP) and the Embassy of the KOE in Taiwan.

Taiwan delegates from several ministries, agencies and organizations took part in the conference, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor, the International Cooperation Development Fund, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, and Industrial Technology Research Institute.

During the conference, the two sides discussed a range of topics such as bilateral trade and investment exchanges, cooperation on promoting digital economy, capacity building and attracting foreign direct investment in the RSTP, and boosting Eswatini's vocational training capacity, as well as various other collaborative initiatives.

In her opening speech, Minister Wang expressed a warm welcome to Minister Gina and the distinguished Eswatini delegation on their visit to Taiwan for the holding of the first in-person bilateral Conference in three years. The previous two were held in virtual format due to pandemic restrictions.

Minister Wang noted that the G7 leaders just recently reaffirmed in their meeting in Japan the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. She stressed that as Taiwan's economy is highly connected to the rest of the world, security in the Taiwan Strait is even more critical to global stability and prosperity.

She expressed thanks to the Government of Eswatini for supporting Taiwan's bid to join international organizations and for speaking out for Taiwan on many occasions. She further reiterated Taiwan's active commitment to carrying out various collaborative projects aimed at helping boost Eswatini's economic development and growth, such as providing technical and expert assistance on implementing single window service and enhancing operations at the RSTP.

For his part, Minister Gina expressed appreciation for Taiwan's longstanding support and assistance in medical services, public health, agriculture, ICT, trade, energy and other fields through bilateral cooperation projects. He said such projects align with Eswatini's nation development needs and help to improve living standards in rural areas, as well as promote economic and social development and assist Eswatini in working to achieve the United Nations' sustainable development goals.

Minister Gina also noted some of the economic challenges facing Eswatini stemming from the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, rising inflation, geopolitical tensions and global supply chain issues. He said Eswatini looks forward to expanding the scope of cooperation with Taiwan as it actively works to address these challenges and promote stronger growth. The Minister added that Eswatini will continue to lobby for full recognition of the ROC (Taiwan) in international forums including the U.N. system.

This year's Conference achieved fruitful and practical results. Regarding enhancing the RSTP's operations capacity and FDI, Taiwan will share its expertise in setting up single window services and obtaining ISO 22301 certification, as well as provide assistance in formulating related regulations and administrative procedures and optimizing service efficiency. The two sides also agreed to enhance their cooperation under the Eswatini Technical and Vocational Skills Certification Enhancement Project, as well as reached consensus on the building of factory shells to attract foreign investment in Eswatini. In addition, Taiwan will share its digital marketing experience and assist Eswatini in developing digital economy. The two sides further agreed on utilizing Taiwan's trade exhibitions to promote Eswatini products and help Eswatini firms to explore business opportunities and tap new markets.

The ROC (Taiwan) and Kingdom of Eswatini have maintained official diplomatic ties and a strong partnership for over half a century. Since the ROC-KOE Economic Cooperation Agreement came into force in 2018, annual bilateral trade has increased by more than 110% within the first five years, helping to further cement bilateral ties. Eswatini is an attractive investment destination for Taiwanese enterprises due to its membership in various regional economic organizations, including the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Southern African Development Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which provide access to the wider African market.