On the Line is a lively forum where important personages including local and foreign diplomats, policy experts, academics, and government officials, are invited to discuss current events and issues involving Taiwan and the world. On the Line broadcasts worldwide every Sunday (Taiwan Time) and is available on demand.
Mr.Juan Luis Kuyeng Ruiz, the director of the Commercial Office of Peru in Taipei said his office has been promoting bilateral trade and exchanges between Taiwan and Peru. He said Peru is a great investment destination for Taiwanese and surprisingly, many Taiwanese invest in the local hospitality industry.
Mr.Martin Torres, Head of Mexico Office in Taiwan said he has been actively promoting cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Mexico. The Day of the Dead Dia De Muertos has been celebrated in Taiwan for many years, but it was not until last year that it had the biggest celebration in Taiwan. Mr.Martin Torres said when he brought up the idea with the mayor of Taipei City, Ko Wen-je in 2019, the mayor thought it was a good idea to demonstrate Taipei’s diversity as an international city. So in 2020, the Mexico Office in Taiwan worked with the Taipei City government to bring Mexico to the public. The Day of the Dead Dia De Muertos was recognized by UNESCO in 2008 as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”, given its importance as a defining aspect of culture and the unique features of the celebration which have been passed from generations to generations.
According to Mr.Martin Torres, Head of Mexico Office in Taiwan, Taiwanese companies have diversified presence in Mexico. The most well-known companies are related to high tech electronics such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Foxconn, Delta Electronics and son on. But Taiwanese also invest in shoe and textile industry as Mexico is No.1 consumer market in the world and is the gateway to more than 40 countries that have signed FTA (Free Trade Agreement). Chairman of Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, Richard Lee said at the Global Networking Forum of the Association in December 2020 that Taiwanese companies should look to Mexico to diversify their production exporting to the US market. In 2021, for the first time, Mexico’s government issued its first “Formosa Bond” with an offering of 50-year notes in US dollars on the Taiwanese market.
Mexico is Taiwan’s 2nd largest trading partner in Latin America and Taiwan is 11th largest trading partner. Taiwan’s export to Mexico in 2017 was around $4.2billion USD, but in 2018, it amounted to $8.3billion USD. Mexico’s export to Taiwan was 420 million in 2017 but in 2019 the volume increased to $6.7billion USD. Mexico representative in Taiwan, Mr.Martin Torres,said it is evident that Taiwanese are looking to Mexico for more investment. Currently. There are around 300 Taiwanese companies in Mexico and visas issued by the Mexico Office in Taiwan are business-related showing the interest of Taiwanese going to Mexico to engage in economic activities.
Ms.Sibongile Mabasa, Deputy Representative of Liaison Office of South Africa (LOSA) said trade and investment between Taiwan and South Africa were impacted by the pandemic in 2020. She said previously, there would be two to three business and investment trips on a yearly basis organized by the Taiwan-African Economic Forum, Taiwan-Africa Business Association and the Chinese International Economic Chamber Association, in 2020, those trips were cancelled but hey managed to have virtual meetings.Asked how she got into diplomacy, Ms.Sibongile Mabasa said she had been fascinated with travelling and when she was in college, she took a course in international relations and it sparked her interest in diplomacy. She had previously been posted in Kenya and was then posted in Taiwan between 2016 and December, 2020. We start off our show today with the trade relations as this is one of the areas she is in charge of and then her plan after she leaves Taiwan.