TAIPEI: Taiwan is planning to enhance its ‘southbound policy’ through its 7-year old Youth Ambassador Exchange Program.
The youth exchange program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is designed to enhance the international perspective of young Taiwanese and encourage them explore the world and cultivate relationships.
This year, 100 university students took part in the program. Divided into four groups – Europe and Africa, the Asia-Pacific, US and Canada, and Asia and Africa – they spent three weeks touring altogether 17 cities in 16 countries. They had undergone a six-week training before traveling.
“These youth ambassadors are the leaders of the next generation who will determine Taiwan’s future direction and elevate the nation’s international status,” said Vice President Chen Chien-jen while speaking during a ceremony showcasing the outcomes of this year’s program.
The Asia-Pacific group, which visited such the Philippines and Indonesia, “demonstrated the essence of the government’s New Southbound Policy through cultural exchanges,” Chen said, adding that the government is planning to incorporate elements of the policy and exchanges between cities, as well as new immigrants, in future youth ambassador programs.
The New Southbound Policy seeks to enhance exchanges with countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand across such diverse fields as business, culture, education and tourism.