ADMITTEDLY, the Philippines, one of the world’s major manpower exporters, plays an important role under Taiwan’s “New Southbound Policy.”
Today, the two neighbors are up against one of their greatest challenges: Strengthening cooperation amidst regional political developments.
Note that there have been areas of effective cooperation between the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” and Taiwan, where thousands of Filipinos, including women, are employed.
Under the “New Southbound Policy,” Taipei will further strengthen cooperation with the Philippines in various fields, such as trade and investment.
They also include agriculture, aquaculture, technology, small and medium enterprises, green technology, climate change, education and culture.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen launched the new policy in September 2016 as part of efforts to forge mutually beneficial relations with 18 countries.
Among the 18 countries are members of the now influential Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In announcing the new policy, Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, representative of Taiwan to the Philippines, noted the geographic proximity and close bond between Manila and Taipei.
In fact, on a clear day in Batanes, which is the Philippines’ northern most province, Lin said one can even see Kaohsiung, the southernmost city of Taiwan
Dr. Lin was keynote speaker during the recent 2016 Taiwan Alumni Association Gathering, which was organized by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO).
We share the view of Lin that, in time of a new era for Taiwan and the Philippines, the latter is seen as the most important country as the gateway for Taipei to expand cooperation and partnership with ASEAN members.