Taiwan holds dialogue on establishing regular exchanges with ASEAN

The first meeting of the Taiwan-ASEAN Dialogue has been held in Taipei to establish a regular mechanism for dialogue between the two sides under Taiwan’s “New Southbound Policy,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

The dialogue, which took place a day earlier, brought together lawmakers and scholars from countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss opportunities for economic cooperation, cross-border cooperation on humanitarian assistance and combating crime, human resources exchanges and talent cultivation, the ministry said in a statement.

The meeting was aimed at “strengthening our exchanges and interactions on these issues and establishing a regular mechanism for dialogue between Taiwan and ASEAN countries,” the ministry said.

In her remarks at the meeting, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) noted the three goals she hopes to achieve under the “New Southbound Policy” — enhance understanding, promote bilateral exchanges and strengthen partnership relations with ASEAN, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Participating scholars said that ASEAN has integrated into a single market with a population of more than 600 million and that it should take the opportunity to continue to develop a complementary relationship with Taiwan, according to the ministry.

Other participants also suggested that Taiwan should establish a network with ASEAN countries to share information on humanitarian assistance and cross-border crime-fighting, and further talent exchanges, it added.

The ministry commissioned the Taipei-based Prospect Foundation, the Indonesian Council on World Affairs and the Habibie Center, an Indonesia-based think tank, to organize the one-day dialogue, it said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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