The government’s New Southbound Policy last year boosted tourism and trade links with the countries covered by the policy, while education programs stagnated, statistics published by the Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations showed.
People visiting Taiwan from the 18 nations covered by the policy last year rose by 2.7 million people, or 6.8 percent, from the previous year, the figures showed.
They accounted for 23 percent of all foreign visitors to Taiwan, the office said.
Taiwanese visiting the policy nations rose 15.1 percent annually to 3.2 million, accounting for 18.8 percent of all Taiwanese traveling abroad, it said.
Taiwan also rose to third place in the top 10 list of non-Organization of Islamic Cooperation destinations, up from fifth in 2018, the office said, citing the 2019 Global Muslim Travel Index published by CrescentRating and Mastercard.
Taiwan’s exports to policy nations last year totaled US$63.1 billion, while imports were US$48.8 billion, the office said.
The government authorized 267 investment applications totaling US$2.79 billion in the countries covered by the policy and authorized 645 applications by companies from the countries to invest in Taiwan, for a total US$1.09 billion, the office said.
Taiwanese construction projects under the policy focus on power plants, petrochemical industries, electronic toll collection systems, mass-rapid transit systems, and environmental and water resource projects, it said.
As of December last year, Taiwanese companies had received permission to start 41 construction projects valued at NT$26.4 billion (US$871.2 million at the current exchange rate), the office said.
In education, 53,099 students came to Taiwan from policy countries, while 21,718 Taiwanese students went to countries covered by the policy to study, it said.
The number of foreign students enrolled in the normal program specifically created for the policy last year totaled 1,346 people, falling from 4,004 in 2018, the office said.
The number of students enrolled in the mid-high-tier professional skill program also fell from 87 in 2018 to 30 last year, it said.
Last year, 844 foreign students were enrolled in the youth vocational training course in 15 educational institutes, and 2,115 students were enrolled in the compatriots’ vocational classes at high schools and universities, the office said.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn