New envoy to Singapore vows to strive for stronger ties

Taiwan’s newly appointed representative to Singapore said Monday that he is well prepared and will strive to boost exchanges on all fronts between the two countries.

The Presidential Office confirmed earlier Monday that Francis Liang (梁國新), the chairman of the government-funded Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), has been appointed as Taiwan’s representative to Singapore.

The government originally tapped Antonio Chiang (江春男) for the post, but he resigned in August before taking office because of the controversy that swirled around him following a drunk driving violation in Taipei.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said that as deputy economic affairs minister, Liang oversaw the establishment of an investment agreement between Taiwan and Japan and free trade deals with New Zealand and Singapore.

In a statement released by the TAITRA, Liang said he was honored to assume the post and will do his utmost to improve Taiwan’s relations with Singapore, which he described as one of Taiwan’s important trading partners.

Liang said in the statement that he will work to promote the government’s major policies, including the “new southbound policy,” which hopes to build closer ties Southeast and South Asian nations, including India, Australia and New Zealand.

He will also make use of his extensive experience in the economic, trade and diplomatic spheres over the past 30 years to boost economic, cultural and diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Singapore, he said.

Liang previously served as director of the economic division at Taiwan’s representative office in the United States.

His experience in foreign and economic affairs, his ability to work hard, think clearly to focus on problems and carry out solutions, and his low-key manner were among the reasons he was named Taiwan’s top envoy to Singapore, according to a source familiar with the appointment.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) new southbound policy will be the core task of the TAITRA in the future, and Singapore is seen as a key link in the policy, the Singapore posting will be of great symbolic significance in the government’s push of the policy, the source said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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