by Roy Mabasa
October 11, 2016
The convergence of new administrations in the Philippines and Taiwan this year has paved the way for the best and opportune time for both governments to work together to enhance bilateral relations that will eventually create a mutually beneficial win-win situation, according to the official Taiwanese representative to Manila.
“Taiwan’s ‘New Southbound Policy’ of President Tsai Ing-wen and the Philippines ‘new more inclusive policies’ under President Rodrigo Duterte do complement each other synergistically, and may prove to be the ‘good fit’ for which the two close neighbors have been searching,” said Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin in his remarks during the celebration of the 105th National Day of Taiwan held Monday night at a hotel in Pasay City.
The inauguration of Dr. Tsai, the first elected female president of Taiwan, last May 20, just several days after President Duterte was democratically elected by Filipinos as the 16th Philippine President, heralded the third peaceful transfer of power since the first direct presidential election in 1996, Representative Lin pointed out.
He highlighted that President Tsai has decided to launch the“New Southbound Policy” last month that will allow the Taiwanese government to focus on forging long-term comprehensive, multi-faceted, two-way, reciprocal and mutually beneficial relations with 18 countries–including the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, New Zealand, and Australia–in the areas of economic and trade cooperation, personnel exchanges, resource sharing, and regional linkages.
“With your gracious support and goodwill, I am sure now is the best timing to nourish our friendship and further strengthen our robust relationship,” said Lin. “With the backing of President Tsai’s New Southbound Policy, I am optimistic that our substantive bilateral relations will grow from strength to strength in the years to come.”
He noted the growing bilateral relations between Taiwan and the Philippines including cooperation in many areas ranging from trade, investment, industry, technology and science, agricultural, fishery, labour, tourism, aviation, shipping, and even weather fore