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Taiwan sees potential in women's economic empowerment: official

2019/04/17 11:45:51

Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) Taiwan sees great potential in women's entrepreneurship at a time when empowering women has become a global pursuit, Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) said Wednesday as he opened a workshop on the topic co-hosted by Taiwan, Japan and the U.S.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Women's Economic Empowerment workshop, Hsu said Taiwan ranked eighth among Asia-Pacific countries in the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs of 2018.

Also, more than one-third of entrepreneurs leading small and medium-sized enterprises in Taiwan are women, and the increasing involvement of women in various industries highlights the potential of women's entrepreneurship in the country, Hsu said.

"Although we have come a long way in advancing women's economic empowerment, there is still more room for progress, both in Taiwan and abroad. Promoting women's rights transcends borders, and advancing women's empowerment is our common task," he said.

The two-day workshop is being held under the Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which Hsu also praised.

He said the GCTF has institutionalized longstanding bilateral cooperation between the two countries since its launch in 2015 and has served as a multilateral platform allowing Taiwan to contribute its expertise to the region.

Wednesday's workshop was the fourth of its kind focusing on women's empowerment, Hsu said, demonstrating Taiwan's commitment to promoting women's rights.

In his address, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty said it was significant that the GCTF expanded this year to having Japan co-host some of the workshops.

"The GCTF has quickly emerged as one of our most successful areas of cooperation with Taiwan, and so we are particularly pleased to welcome Japan in co-organizing this important training with us," he said.

The AIT head cited a World Bank estimate that empowering women has the potential to add US$12 trillion to the global economy in highlighting the potential of women in the economy.

For this purpose, he said, the U.S. and Taiwan have cooperated extensively in the area, including contributing funding to the APEC sub-fund on women's empowerment.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Japan's deputy representative to Taiwan Shigehiro Nishiumi said his country was honored to co-host the women's empowerment workshop given that the Shinzo Abe administration has also made the issue a top priority.

In the past six years, 2.6 million more women have joined the workforce in Japan through the efforts of the Abe administration, and he called on more "like-minded friends" to work together on agendas shared by the region.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 experts from 18 countries across the Indo-Pacific have gathered for the workshop to discuss how to further advance women's empowerment and opportunities.

(By Joseph Yeh)