Taiwan set to help develop remote Indonesian island

MAKING BIG PLANS::Taiwan will share its island development experience to improve Morotai’s farming and fishing industries and develop ecotourism there

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 - Page 4

A group of experts and government officials from Indonesia will attend a workshop in Taiwan early next month to discuss a development project on a remote island in the Southeast Asian country, project organizers said on Tuesday.

The workshop is aimed at sharing Taiwan’s experience and ideas on island development with its Indonesian partners, International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) deputy secretary-general Morgan Chao (趙家寶) said.

The government-affiliated organization, which jointly organized the Dec. 2 to Dec. 8 trip with the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in Taipei, said it has visited the remote island of Morotai six times to study its natural and cultural resources.

The initial plan is for Taiwan to help improve the agricultural and fishery industries on the Indonesian island and develop ecotourism by focusing on its marine ecosystem, mangroves and historical monuments.

A cultural and educational center and medical facilities will also be built, Chao said.

The Indonesian government hopes to carry out the project through the private sectors of the two countries, with Taiwan ICDF as the facilitator, Chao said.

The Indonesian government almost three years ago proposed the development project on Morotai, which is about 2,400m2 and has a population of 50,000, Taiwan ICDF said.

The island was an important air base during World War II for the Allies and later for Japanese forces until it was recaptured.