Fri, Jul 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Travelers, cargo from Southbound nations increasing

Staff writer, with CNA

Data provided by Taoyuan International Airport Corp, which oversees the nation’s main gateway, shows that contact between Taiwan and countries targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy is increasing, the company’s chairman said on Wednesday.

The policy, which aims to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China and improve ties with other countries in the region, focuses on 16 nations in Southeast and South Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

A total of 10.19 million passengers travelling to and from those countries moved through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last year, an increase of 16.2 percent from 2016, company chairman Tseng Dar-jen (曾大仁) said at a forum to discuss the future of Taiwan’s aviation industry.

The airport received 5.54 million such passengers in the first six months of this year, an increase of 9.8 percent year-on-year, Tseng said.

On the trade side, the airport handled 400,000 tonnes of cargo from 11 New Southbound countries last year, which was about 20 percent of the total cargo volume handled and a marked rise of 10 percent from 2016, he said.

The airport handled 167,000 tonnes of cargo to and from the same countries from January to May, a 6 percent increase from the same period last year, Tseng said.

With most of the cargo being re-exported to other destinations, Taiwan is becoming a key cargo transportation hub for the New Southbound Policy’s target countries, Tseng added.

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