THE contributions of the 150,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are a major factor behind the growth and economic development of Taiwan.
This was articulated by the Taiwanese Representative in Manila in a recent reception celebrating Taiwan’s National Day.
“Taiwan’s impressive development would not be possible without the 150,000 Filipino nationals who work in Taiwan and contribute to our society,” Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) Representative in Manila Michael Peiyung Hsu said.
Hsu said the close bond and friendship between Taiwan and the Philippines are a major factor behind “outstanding” growth over the past year of Taiwan.
In terms of competitiveness, Taiwan was ranked 13th in the world and fourth in Asia last year by the World Economic Forum.
In the Philippines, Taiwan wants to increase its trade and investment under its New Southbound Policy, which seeks to connect the island across the developing states of Southeast Asia, he said.
On tourism, Hsu said Taiwan is targeting 500,000 visitors from the Philippines as he urged Filipinos to take advantage of Taipei’s two-week visa-free program.
This year, Taiwan, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, concluded the construction of a button mushroom demonstration farm in Baguio City.
“We are expecting our first harvest by the end of this month. Our next step is to expand this model to other parts of the Philippines,” Hsu said.
Taipei helped build 400 housing units in support of the government’s Bangon Marawi initiative.
“Taiwan continues to work with non-government organizations, such as World Vision, the Tzu-Chi Foundation, and Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps, to provide support to disadvantaged groups in the Philippines. I understand that a 22-member medical mission from Taiwan is back to Manila from General Santos City, where they distributed free medical services,” he said.
“These are concrete examples of our efforts to advance people-centered relations with the Philippines,” he noted as he wished President Rodrigo R. Duterte “the best of health” and stronger friendship between the people of Taiwan and the Philippines.