Republic of China (Taiwan) will celebrate the 111th anniversary of its founding on October 10, which is known as Double 10th Day. Four days prior to the occasion, on Thursday, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) in India organised an event, after a two-year gap. The gap was due to the pandemic.
Ambassadors and diplomats from several friendly countries, educationists from several universities across the country where Mandarin is taught, friends and collaborators of Taiwan were present at the occasion.
In his address, ambassador Baushaun Ger, thanked those who helped Taiwan grow and prosper along the way and those who allowed Taiwan to be part of their life stories and journeys to economic development and social betterment.
"Over the years, in the face of evolving threats and external challenges, what has remained constant is Taiwan’s spirit of resilience and innovation. It’s this very reason Taiwan now plays a critical role in the global semiconductor industry. Taiwan is No. 1 in semiconductor foundry, packaging and testing, producing 92 percent of the world’s leading-edge semiconductor chips and accounting for over 60 percent of semiconductor manufacturing revenue.
"Moreover, Taiwan has ranked first globally in national healthcare system, No. 2 in IC design and ICT products, No 6 in World Economic Freedom, No. 7 in IMD’s World Competitiveness ranking, and No. 8 as highest democracy in the world.
"On the basis of democratic resilience and mutual trust, I am glad to note that Taiwan-India relations have gone from strength and strength. While our two countries maintained formal relations from 1947 to 1950, it is not until 1995 when Taiwan and India re-established representative offices in New Delhi and Taipei.
"With the convergence of India’s “Act East Policy” and Taiwan’s “New Southbound Policy”, on the economic front, our bilateral trade reached 7.7 billion USD in 2021, which is 64% higher than the year before. Currently around 120 Taiwanese enterprises have established their business operations in India, generating in total investment of over 1.2 billion USD.
"Apart from the agreements signed last year covering respective areas of recognition of organic equivalence certification, intellectual property rights as well as product standardization, we look forward to expanding two-way trade and investment in a significant way with more mutually beneficial trade arrangements to be put in place in the years to come," he said.
In the area of education cooperation, he said TECC has so far set up 25 Taiwan Education Centres across Indian university campuses.
Over 10,000 Indian students have taken up Mandarin courses in the Taiwan Education Centres. These pupils, along with other Indian students studying in Taiwan, currently around 3,000, will serve as living bridges between our peoples, cultures and even businesses.
He hoped that this indigenous Mandarin-speaking community would keep growing and become a great help for Taiwan’s SMEs to explore and expand in the Indian market.
Taiwan and India have also made great strides in the domain of science and technology with 104 joint research projects successfully implemented over the past 15 years. Last month, in addition to an MOU on precision medicine, universities from both sides jointly launched a smart city research lab and a living lab on big data analytic.
"Although confronted by unceasing cross-Strait military intimidation and grey-zone threats, Taiwan has continued to strengthen its self-defence capabilities. We will do our utmost to protect our hard-won democratic way of life without bowing to any pressure.
"As such, we look forward to joining hands with our like-minded partners to safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific and to preserve the rules-based international order," the envoy concluded.
On the occasion, 17 senior Taiwanese Mandarin teachers were also honoured.
There was free flow of liquor including Kavalan, one of the best whiskys in the world. Tastebuds also got a chance to drink the famous Taiwan-style bubble tea provided by Tea Bear and Megalife.