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ROC-Eswatini Economic and Technical Cooperation Conference Achieves Fruitful and Practical Outcomes
Kind: ICD What's New  Organization: Department of International Cooperation  Publish Date: 2022-07-21 15:05
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The 24th ROC-Kingdom of Eswatini Economic and Technical Cooperation Conference was convened on July 20 in virtual format and was co-chaired by ROC Minister of Economic Affairs Mei-Hua Wang and Eswatini Minister of Economic Planning & Development Thambo Gina. The two sides discussed various issues, such as providing technical assistance for the management and operation of Eswatini's Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and National Data Center (NDC), enhancing bilateral cooperation on competition law, organizing a Taiwan trade and investment delegation to Eswatini, and inviting Eswatini food producers to take part in Taiwan's trade exhibitions and training programs.

In her opening remarks, Minister Wang stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has for the past two years led to disruption of global supply chains, logistics, and movement of people, which has had a major impact on the global economy and industry. Thanks to Taiwan government's effective pandemic control measures, domestic economic activity has been able to continue normally. Last year, Taiwan's imports and exports hit record highs, and export growth reaching nearly 30%. GDP growth hit 6.28%, marking the highest level in 11 years. The global supply chain disruptions caused an automotive chips shortage, with many countries seeking assistance from Taiwan, further highlighting that Taiwan is a reliable global partner, she said.

Minister Wang also stressed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has led to soaring global prices and triggered an energy crisis. In addition, many countries have taken measures to ban food exports, which has worsened the global food security problem. Currently, many African countries are facing serious food and energy crises. She said that dealing with these problems requires a cautious approach, adding that Taiwan has concern for Eswatini's development and hopes to maintain a long-term and stable cooperative relationship in order to cope with these issues together effectively.

Meanwhile, Minister Gina expressed his appreciation for the ROC's assistance in promoting Eswatini's industry development in a range of areas. Despite ongoing global challenges, such as the pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict, and rising food insecurity, Taiwan and Eswatini have maintained a close friendship based on shared values and interests. Over the years, Taiwan has successfully helped Eswatini enhance its ICT sector with its R&D expertise through the bilateral cooperation plan. In addition, the Minister expressed appreciation for Taiwan's assistance in various areas such as rural water quality improvement that has improved the livelihood of local residents. He further stated that Eswatini will continue to actively support the ROC's rights as a member of the international community to join more global activities based on the principle of universality.

This year's Conference produced fruitful and practical outcomes. The two sides engaged in experience exchanges on the operation and management system for RSTP, while the Taiwan side shared information on its Industrial and Technology Parks' one-stop service mechanism that integrates the administrative authority of different governmental agencies related to business investment, industrial and commercial business, foreign trade, construction and land management, labor administration, and inspection. Regarding the NDC's operation, the training of personnel and cultivation of talent will be accelerated through the short-term posting of Taiwanese professional experts in Eswatini to provide assistance and through related exchanges of visits between the two sides. As for bilateral cooperation on competition law, Taiwan will provide capacity building courses for Eswatini officials and invite them to take part in international anti-trust seminars hosted by Taiwan. The Taiwan side will also organize a delegation including representatives of businesses in Taiwan's food and textile industries to visit Eswatini to explore investment opportunities after the pandemic has abated. Furthermore, Taiwan will invite Eswatini food enterprises to take part in related international trade exhibitions in Taiwan, participate in technical training courses offered in Taiwan, and visit leading local Taiwanese food enterprises to assist these Eswatini firms to expand their international sales.

Eswatini is the only nation in Africa with which the ROC maintains formal diplomatic relations and is an important economic and trading partner. It is a member of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which has a population of roughly 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of US$2.2 trillion, as well as the Southern Africa Development Community, and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, making it an ideal base of operations for Taiwanese enterprises seeking to tap the wider African market.
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Update: 2020-04-23
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