Canadian office celebrating 30 years in Taiwan

As the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) celebrates its 30th anniversary in Taiwan, it is looking back at Canada's longstanding relationship with Taiwan and looking ahead to deepen bilateral relations in trade and investment.

Established in October 1986, the CTOT has now grown into a full-service representative office offering wide-ranging programs in trade and investment promotion, science and technology cooperation and other fields and consular services to almost 60,000 Canadians living in Taiwan, it said Wednesday.

"Canada and Taiwan have built a relationship based on shared values of democracy and human rights, and a long history of people-to-people and commercial ties," the office said.

People-to-people links between Canada and Taiwan were first established over a hundred years ago with the arrival of the Canadian Presbyterian missionary George Leslie Mackay in Taiwan in 1871.

He spent about 30 years in Taiwan, preaching Christian values and working to develop education and medicine, the office said.

To remember Mackay's contribution to Taiwan's development, the office will hold a Mackay Charity Gala on Saturday, as part of the celebrations of the office's 30 years in Taiwan, said Mario Ste-Marie, head of the CTOT.

The gala will raise funds for the MacKay Children's Hospital and Mackay Memorial Museum, according to the office.

In terms of trade relations, Taiwan is Canada's 12th largest trading partner and fifth largest in Asia, with annual bilateral trade reaching 8 billion Canadian dollars (US$6.07 billion), the office said.

"These ties are supported by accomplishments such as a visa waiver for Taiwanese passport holders, a working holiday program, customs cooperation, an avoidance of double taxation arrangement and increased air traffic," it said.

Following the signing of the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation in January, Ste-Marie said the next goal would be to sign an investment protection agreement in an effort to promote bilateral trade relations.

He said it would be one of the topics to be discussed during this year's Canada-Taiwan Economic Consultations meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Taipei in October.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel