James Huang appointed TAITRA chair

Staff writer, with CNA

Sun, Jan 15, 2017 - Page 3

New Southbound Policy Office Director James Huang (黃志芳) has been named chairman of the nation’s main trade promotion body, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the Executive Yuan said yesterday.

Executive Yuan spokesperson Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said Premier Lin Chuan (林全) approved Huang’s appointment on Friday, but he did not give further details.

Huang, a former minister of foreign affaris, is to succeed Francis Liang (梁國新), who took over as Taiwan’s representative to Singapore last month.

The 58-year-old Huang went into business in 2008 after stepping down as minister when a new administration came in.

“You probably don’t know that I once was in business overseas,” Huang said on a previous occasion, adding that he worked hard to learn Vietnamese and that he had many ideas on how to promote trade.

In related news, the Executive Yuan on Friday said that the nation’s exports under the “new southbound policy” totaled US$5.37 billion last month, up 20 percent from the same month in 2015.

Among them, exports to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos totaled US$4.72 billion, up 22.9 percent from December 2015.

The “new southbound policy,” introduced by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), seeks to promote ties with the ASEAN nations, as well as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand.

However, talent exchanges increased at a much slower pace. Students from those nations studying in Taiwan totaled 29,145 last year, up only 2.1 percent from the 28,550 in the 2015 academic year.

Among them, the number of students from ASEAN totaled 27,264, up 1.9 percent year-on-year. One noteworthy change was that the number of students from South Asia was up 12.4 percent year-on-year, totaling 1,443.

Government agencies are to allocate more resources this year to boost the number of South Asian or Southeast Asian students coming to Taiwan, the office said.