Canada is working to strengthen its connections with Taiwan in the innovation sector this year and next, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves said on Tuesday.
“In terms of our plans for this office for this year and into 2021, number one is to launch our Year of Canadian-Taiwanese Innovators and to do everything we can with the existing tools we have to virtually make those connections between business and companies,” Reeves said in an interview with the Central News Agency ahead of Canada Day yesterday.
A launch event is scheduled for September in Tainan, home to both the Southern Taiwan Science Park and National Cheng Kung University, which has sister-school relationships with six Canadian universities, he said.
During an annual bilateral economic consultation at the end of last year in Canada, the idea was raised of helping companies from the two nations recognize the value each side has to offer, Reeves said.
Canadian companies have usually focused more on China’s market, while Taiwanese firms have looked to the US market for the past several decades, he said.
The two sides have now agreed to bring together Taiwan’s hardware sector and Canada’s software sector in an effort to seek major benefits for companies from both countries, since they complement each other as Taiwan is known for its hardware development while Canada is good in artificial intelligence and Internet of Things solutions, he said.
Although several projects and delegations were postponed or canceled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei has gone ahead virtually with as many as possible, Reeves said.
The office has facilitated virtual meetings between 24 Canadian technology firms and 120 Taiwanese companies, resulting in more than 65 follow-up meetings, he said.
Virtual workshops have been held between Canada’s National Research Council and Taiwan’s National Center for High Performance Computing and Academia Sinica, he said.
Taiwan is one of the five sites outside North America where Ottawa has established a Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA), with the others in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Delhi, Reeves said.
The CTA is the largest commercial project in Taiwan funded by Global Affairs Canada and seeks to facilitate cooperation between tech companies from the two nations, he said.
Canada supports Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and would continue to do so, he said.
“Many global issues do not respect political boundaries, issues such as COVID-19, climate change and aviation safety, and these all require a cooperative and inclusive approach for the greater global good,” he said. “I can tell you that Canada will continue to support Taiwan’s participation at the WHA [World Health Assembly] at the next scheduled meeting in November.”
He also hinted that Ottawa supports Taiwan’s joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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