Taiwan's New Southbound Policy sees initial fruit
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) The Executive Yuan said Friday Taiwan's exports to countries covered under the government's New Southbound Policy totaled US$5.37 billion in December, up 20 percent from the same month last year.
Among them, exports to the 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos -- totaled US$4.72 billion, up 22.9 percent from December last year.
The New Southbound Policy, introduced by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), seeks to promote ties with the 10 ASEAN nations along with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand.
However, talent exchanges between the two sides increased at a much slower pace. Students from the above 18 countries studying in Taiwan totaled 29,145 in the 2016 academic year, up only 2.1 percent from the 28,550 in the 2015 academic year.
Among them, the number of students from the ASEAN totaled 27,264, up 1.9 percent year-on-year. One noteworthy change was that the number of students from South Asia was up 12.4 percent year-on-year, totaling 1,443.
The office said that relevant government agencies will put in more resources this year to boost the number of South Asian or Southeast Asian students coming here.
In addition to various trade promotion, it will also expand the number of scholarships offered to students from those two regions as a way to attract them to study in Taiwan's higher education institutions.
(By Tang Pei-chun and Lilian Wu)
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