The “perfect time” has come to further foster bilateral relations of Taiwan and the Philippines that have been mutually beneficial for Manila and Taipei over the past year, according to Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Philippines.
Manila and Taipei both have their new administrations this year.
Lin pointed out that Taiwan’s “New South-bound Policy” of President Tsai Ing-wen and the Philippines’ “more inclusive policies” under President Rodrigo Duterte complement each other and may prove to be the “good fit” that the two neighbors have been searching for.
“I would like to point out that right now is the best and opportune timing to work together to enhance our bilateral relations. By broadening multi-faceted cooperation, we will eventually create a mutually beneficial win-win situation,” he said in his opening remarks at Monday night’s reception of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) for the 105th National Day of Taiwan at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
He mentioned the growing bilateral relations between Taipei and Manila, which include cooperation in many areas ranging from trade, investment, industry, technology and science, agricultural, fishery, labor, tourism, aviation, shipping and even weather forecasting.
In terms of bilateral economic ties, the two countries are trading partners.
In 2015, Taiwan was the Philippines’ 5th largest trading partner, 9th export market and 4th import source of the Philippines.
The total recorded Taiwanese investments in the Philippines last year jumped to P5.46 billion (about $121 million), an 83.4 percent increase– making Taiwan the Philippines’ 3rd fastest-growing investment source.
The Philippines is the 2nd-largest export partner of Taiwan among Southeast Asian countries amounting to $7.45 billion, and the 11th largest trading partner of Taiwan in the world, with bilateral trade amounting to $9.27 billion in 2015.
There are millions of Filipinos either transit or passing through Taiwan each year.
The partnership is also reflected in the presence of the 135,000 Filipinos who are working in Taiwan mainly in the information communication technology sector and optical products.
Aside from the overseas Filipino workers, there are approximately 8,000 young couples married to each other.
From January to June this year, Taiwan has brought 111,184 visitors to the Philippines, an increase of 26.15 percent from last year.
Among the top 12 sources of visitors for the Philippines, Taiwan posted the 2nd highest growth of tourist arrivals.
Meanwhile, 139,214 Filipinos visited Taiwan in 2015, an increase of 1.63 percent, while 80,714 Filipino visitors visited Taiwan from January to June this year, an increase of 13.14 percent compared to last year.