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OCAC to issue overseas compatriot cards to boost local economy

2017/09/20 13:25:00

OCAC head Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興, left)

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) The Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC,僑委會) will soon launch a discount card for overseas Taiwanese who return home for visits to give them special offers on travel and domestic consumption and boost the local economy.

In unveiling the "Overseas Compatriot Card" (僑胞卡) on Wednesday, OCAC head Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興) said the card will offer returning expatriates special discounts at partner hotels, shops, restaurants, travel agencies, and hospitals for self-paid health checkups.

"This is the first time since the founding of the OCAC 86 years ago that we have issued such a card," Wu said in announcing the campaign.

The card will not serve as a type of ID but rather as a creative way to boost Taiwan's economy by offering returning Taiwanese discounts, he said.

"The card is a way to promote the country's tourism industry while taking better care of our overseas compatriots," he added.

According to Wu, 1,172 businesses have applied to be part of the campaign, and 999 have been approved.

More than 5,000 overseas Taiwanese are expected to return to Taiwan for the Double Tenth National Day celebrations next month, and each one of them will be given the card for free, Wu said.

Two of the country's major carriers, China Airlines and EVA Air, have agreed to join the campaign, and representatives of both airlines promised during Wednesday's press event to offer good bargains to card holders on flights to Taiwan.

According to the OCAC, a batch of the cards will also be issued to overseas Taiwanese business representatives returning home at the end of this month for the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce.

Expatriates visiting Taiwan only need to leave their names and address with the OCAC to receive the card, which will be valid until the end of 2019, at which time the OCAC will review the results of the trial run, the agency noted.

The OCAC was established in 1932, when the Republic of China government was still based in China, at which time it was known as the Overseas Chinese Affairs Council.

According to the OCAC, its main objective is to facilitate cultural, educational, economic and informational exchanges between Taiwan and overseas Chinese communities.

(By Joseph Yeh)