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Taiwan, eSwatini set up joint economic committee

2019/05/22 17:04:36

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan and eSwatini established a joint committee Wednesday to push for bilateral economic cooperation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said.

Taiwan's Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) and visiting eSwatini Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo signed a resolution for the establishment of the joint committee under the Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) between Taiwan and eSwatini, which took effect in December 2018.

"With the economy in Africa growing, eSwatini is aggressively integrating itself with the region economically and enjoys preferential tariff status with more than 20 counterparts in the region," Shen said.

"The African ally is expected to serve as a base for Taiwanese companies that have set their sights on the growing African market," Shen said.

eSwatini is one of Taiwan's 17 diplomatic allies and the only one in Africa.

Shen said many Taiwanese exporters have expressed interest in working with eSwatini to extend their reach in the African market, and if necessary, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will organize delegations to visit the country and facilitate bilateral cooperation.

"Currently, some Taiwanese textile companies function very well in eSwatini," Shen said. "For an expansion of economic ties, the MOEA is planning to provide assistance to Taiwanese companies to develop agriculture and food processing businesses there."

According to Shen, textile maker Tex-Ray Industrial Co. has established a sound foundation in eSwatini in its core business, and Tex-Ray Chairman Lin Jui-yueh (林瑞岳) is even planning to grow avocado pears.

Shen said he has invited I-Mei Foods Co., one of Taiwan's leading food brands, to team up with Tex-Ray in a bid to explore the agriculture and processing food market in the African country.

Addressing the ceremony for the establishment of the joint economic cooperation committee, Khumalo said his ministry aims to take advantage of eSwatini's investment policy to help the country's agriculture business become more export-oriented and strengthen its competitiveness.

On the back of the ECA and the joint economic cooperation committee, Khumalo said he expected bilateral economic ties to grow quickly.

Khumalol led a three-member delegation to Taiwan Sunday and will end the visit Thursday.

According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade, bilateral trade between Taiwan and eSwatini totaled US$10.54 million in 2018, up from US$7.6 million in 2017.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
Enditem/AW