Vietnam sees opportunity in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy

Taipei--Vietnam is hoping that Taiwan's New Southbound Policy will mean more Taiwanese investment in the country as it picks up the pace of infrastructure development to support economic growth, Vietnam's representative to Taiwan said recently.

The New Southbound Policy is mutually advantageous, said Tran Duy Hai, the head of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, and Vietnam is interested in forging closer cooperation with Taiwan and attracting more investment from Taiwanese businesses.

Vietnam is especially seeking investment in its infrastructure development, and it hopes to learn from Taiwan's experience in building freeways, railways and metro systems and practicing high-tech farming, Tran said in an interview with CNA 10 days ago.

The New Southbound Policy is aimed at forging closer economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and India to reduce the country's economic dependence on China.

Tran said Taiwan's new approach has already helped encourage more people from Southeast Asia to visit Taiwan by making it easier for citizens from countries in the region to get a visa to Taiwan, and visitor numbers should continue to increase sharply.

In addition, an increasing number of flights between Vietnam and Taiwan, currently at about 200 weekly, should also help boost mutual exchanges, Tran added.

The Vietnamese envoy also had a positive view of overall investment, trade and people-to-people relations between Taiwan and Vietnam.

Bilateral relations between the two sides have been improving since the 1990s and Taiwan is currently Vietnam's fourth largest source of foreign investment, with US$32 billion invested in the country, Tran said.

Taiwan is also Vietnam's fifth largest trade partner, and two-way trade between the two countries in 2016 totaled US$12 billion and is continuing to rise, he added.

Tran also pointed to Taiwan as home to the largest overseas Vietnamese population of an area in the world.

At present, around 300,000 Vietnamese live in Taiwan, including 100,000 who are married to Taiwanese citizens, 180,000 workers and 5,000 students. About 30,000 Taiwanese live in Vietnam, including 6,000 Taiwanese businessmen.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel