President Tsai Ing-wen said Sept. 18 that Taiwan will continue working to build a welcoming environment for Muslims, spotlighting government efforts to strengthen ties with the Islamic world.
One of the world's most widely practiced religions, Islam places great importance on peace, justice and caring for those in need, Tsai said, adding that these teachings can have a positive effect on society.
Muslim-majority countries are key partners in the government's New Southbound Policy, the president said. Promoting understanding regarding these nations' cultures and customs is therefore crucial to expanding bilateral exchanges, she added.
Tsai made the comments while receiving representatives from the Taipei City-based Chinese Muslim Association at the Presidential Office.
According to the president, since taking office in May 2016, the government has undertaken a raft of measures to improve life for Muslims in Taiwan.
These include setting up prayer rooms in public transport facilities and major tourist attractions and promoting halal certification for local hotels and restaurants.
According to the CMA, Taiwan's Muslim population stands at around 300,000, comprising 60,000 or so citizens and some 250,000 migrant workers. The country earned its highest ever ranking of third among non-Organization of Islamic Cooperation nations in the latest Global Muslim Travel Index published by MasterCard and CrescentRating.
A key plank in the government's national development strategy, the NSP seeks to enhance Taiwan's agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)