The Executive Yuan approved the New Southbound Policy work plan, which will realign Taiwan's role in Asian development, seek new directions and momentum for the country's new stage of economic development, and create future value.
According to the Executive Yuan's Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) the work plan covers policy directions, policy objectives and a concrete work plan specifying key tasks for the relevant ministries and agencies for the year 2017, with implementation to begin on January 1.
At an external economic and trade strategy meeting on August 16 convened by President Tsai Ing-wen, the New Southbound Policy was formally approved and identified as a key element of Taiwan's overall strategic approach. On September 5 the Executive Yuan proposed a New Southbound Policy promotion plan, with the OTN responsible for general planning and coordinating the relevant implementation tasks.
Under the promotion plan the OTN coordinated work plans formulated by the relevant ministries and agencies. Those plans have been translated into concrete measures that were recently green-lighted by the Executive Yuan.
The New Southbound Policy work plans will initially focus on the following four areas:
- Economic and trade cooperation: Reinforce industrial cooperation and economic and trade expansion; facilitate cooperation on infrastructure construction projects; promote system integration service exports and financial assistance.
- Talent exchanges: Leverage the complementary nature of human resources between Taiwan and the New Southbound Policy-target countries by cooperating to cultivate human talent under the guiding principle of "people-centered, bilateral, diversified exchanges."
- Resource sharing: Reinforce Taiwan's partnership with New Southbound Policy-target countries and strive for bilateral or multilateral cooperation opportunities based on Taiwan's strengths in medical care, culture, tourism, science and technology as well as agriculture.
- Regional connectivity: Promote bilateral and multilateral institutionalized cooperation; raise the official status of bilateral negotiations and dialogues; establish partnerships with New Southbound Policy-target countries through international cooperation.
Starting in January of next year, the OTN said, various ministries and agencies will implement their respective work programs as approved by the Executive Yuan. The National Development Council will handle quarterly oversight and assessment tasks, while the OTN will handle coordination and integration, formulating different work plans for individual New Southbound Policy-target countries, and negotiate various cooperative projects with important partners.