Mon, Jul 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Disaster training for SE Asian countries offers opportunities

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Emergency response training for Southeast Asian nations and exporting specialized firefighting equipment to them are part of the government’s New Southbound Policy, sources said.

The Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations has invited several nations to send officials to Taiwan for joint exercises, making use of disaster relief workers’ experience in conducting operations in earthquake and fire emergencies, they said.

There have been positive responses to the idea from several of them, they said.

The drills are to be hosted at the National Fire Agency Training Center in Nantou County’s Jhushan Township (竹山), a high-ranking source at the Executive Yuan said, adding that the government also plans to export specialist firefighting equipment to these nations.

The center is the largest training facility of its kind in Asia and Taiwanese firefighters are superbly trained, so they could help improve the disaster response capabilities of Southeast Asian nations, the source said.

The center in trains firefighting departments, police and firefighter academies, as well as members of the armed forces and volunteer groups. It also hosts nationwide disaster response exercises.

Nations targeted by the southbound policy will be able to send disaster response personnel to the center for training, while cooperation in disaster response training could benefit Taiwan and the other nations, the official said.

It would give Taiwan an opportunity to market specialized equipment such as fire-resistant clothing, fire extinguishers, hydrants and automatic fire suppressant systems, the official said.

The Taiwan Asia Exchange Foundation is establishing a humanitarian aid forum to help the government discuss natural disaster response, mitigation and prevention with other nations, sources said.

Taiwan has offered annual fire-response training support to the Taiwanese overseas community in the Philippines for more than a decade, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), who oversees the New Southbound Policy, said yesterday.

Additional reporting by CNA

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