India’s representative to Taiwan recently told local media that his office will focus on enhancing bilateral investments, people-to-people exchanges and technical cooperation between Delhi and Taipei.
“India presents great opportunities for sustained growth to Taiwanese investors, who in turn can impart their world-renowned manufacturing skills and know-how necessary for India’s rapid transformation,” Gourangalal Das, director-general of the India Taipei Association or embassy, told Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
In terms of people-to-people interaction, Das said office would like to start with exchanges in higher education and tourism, two areas where there is much room for improvement. India was Taiwan’s 17th largest trading partner and Taiwan India’s 31st largest trading partner in 2020.
Though nearly 3,000 Indian students are pursuing Masters and PhD programs in Taiwan, they represent only a section of the more than 750,000 Indian students seeking higher education globally, Das pointed out.
The 10,000 Taiwanese tourists visiting India annually represent only a small proportion of the over 15 million outbound trips a year by Taiwan’s leisure travellers, he said.
Das praised Taiwan’s advancements in functional and technical fields, ranging from agriculture to smart cities, as well as industrial automation, science parks and ICT manufacturing. “By promoting better sharing of knowledge, experience and technology, we can benefit stakeholders in both India and Taiwan.”
The envoy predicted healthy prospects for cooperation between the two countries amid the restructuring of global supply chains, citing India’s huge market, pro-business reforms and the many investment incentives, among other factors. “It is heartening that a lot of Taiwanese supply chain forerunners now consider India a strategic destination for the next stage in their growth,” he said, adding that some Taiwanese ICT companies are already building an ecosystem in India.
Das also hailed Taiwan’s effort to promote deeper interaction with India under its New Southbound Policy, adding that the policy compliments India’s “Act East” policy.
“We must redouble our efforts once the temporary disruption eases, and aim high to tap the growing mutual awareness and mutual admiration. I am also confident that with the increase in our interactions in the areas of education, trade and investment and tourism, people-to-people contacts will only grow in the future.”
The momentum of bilateral economic cooperation has been steadily increasing in the recent years. Bilateral trade has crossed $ 7 billion in 2018, a growth of 40% in the two years during 2017 and 2018. The major items exported to Taiwan include naphtha, metal and metal products, organic chemicals and agricultural products. The major items imported from Taiwan are PVC, machinery, organic chemicals, electrical machinery, ICT products and solar cells. India and Taiwan signed a bilateral investment agreement in 2018. Between April 2020-Sep 2020 FDI inflows from Taiwan to India was $ 368 million.