Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation to be established soon: academic

Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) A foundation will be established in Taiwan in March to facilitate exchanges among leaders, youth representatives, non-governmental organizations and think tanks in the country and the region, a university academic said Saturday.Alan Yang, executive director of National Chengchi University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), told CNA that a preparatory office was set up in January and CSEAS is assisting with the preparations for the establishment of the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF).The foundation will comprise more than a dozen academics and representatives of think tanks and civic groups in Taiwan, he said.One of the major responsibilities of the TAEF will be to help organize the annual Yushan Forum, which was launched last October to enhance Taiwan's regional status and support the government's efforts to forge a broader relationship with countries covered under its New Southbound Policy.Meanwhile, the TAEF will also seek to consolidate existing international partnerships among civil groups in South and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand in an effort to strengthen Taiwan's regional connections, according to a statement released by the preparatory office on Saturday.More importantly, the TAEF will strive to establish cooperation on core issues for the development of a regional community and to promote exchanges between NGOs and think tanks in Taiwan and the region, the statement said.