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Premier: Full speed ahead on New Southbound Policy


Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday met with government agencies to review focal projects from the New Southbound Policy. The policy can be summed up as "Taiwan helping Asia, and Asia helping Taiwan," he said, and true to this spirit, the focal projects have been providing a wide range of assistance to countries targeted by the policy, whether in expanding their agricultural, public health, and information and communications technology capabilities, or training industry talent, medical workers, and young agricultural workers, or attracting people to Taiwan for studies, internships, and even tourism.

Because of Taiwan's success with the New Southbound Policy, nations such as the U.S. and Japan have on many occasions expressed interest in collaborating with Taiwan in related fields, giving Taiwan opportunities to establish channels for jointly building partnerships with New Southbound countries, the premier said. And given the importance of talent development to Taiwan's cooperation with New Southbound countries—and to Taiwanese firms seeking to expand there—the premier instructed the Ministry of Education to formulate appropriate measures to assist foreign students in Taiwan with technical training, language learning and cultural adaptation.

To mitigate impacts from the growing trade conflict between the U.S. and China, the premier instructed the Ministry of Economic Affairs to extend active assistance to small and medium-sized companies that are eyeing New Southbound markets, such as by helping them move in clusters into Taiwanese industrial parks.

In addition, the Council of Agriculture signed an outline of cooperation with Indonesia in June to build a comprehensive agricultural demonstration zone, which will be expanded from an initial 400 hectares to 1,000 hectares in two years. Premier Lai directed the council to implement the project according to the agreed timetable while expanding agricultural cooperation to other locations in Indonesia or other targeted countries.

Finally, to expand the international market for Taiwan's health care industry, the premier asked the Ministry of Health and Welfare to come up with a plan by year-end for exporting Taiwan's medical administrative and business solutions to other countries.

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