Taiwan doubles its APEC contributions to US$1.5 million

11/05/2020 11:33 AM
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Taiwan's APEC Senior Official Bob Loong-jin Chen (陳龍錦, right). Photo courtesy of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) Taiwan has contributed US$1.5 million to support economic and technical cooperation initiatives led by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, double the US$750,000 it gave last year.

The funding from Taiwan will focus particularly on members' capacity building needs and on promoting regional economic integration and inclusive and sustainable growth, the APEC Secretariat said in a statement issued from Singapore Wednesday.

The contribution was confirmed in a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed virtually by Taiwan's APEC Senior Official Bob Loong-jin Chen (陳龍錦) and APEC Secretariat Executive Director Rebecca Sta Maria.

Around US$1 million of Taiwan's contribution will go to support APEC activities in the area of human security, which includes health security and emergency preparedness, as well as energy and trade security, the statement said.

The additional funding will be directed toward efforts to improve the growth of the digital economy in the region, improving the management of land and sea-based sources of marine debris, and supporting the APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC's research and analysis arm, the statement said.

APEC projects, which are important for taking forward the policy directions set by APEC economic leaders and ministers, create tangible benefits for people living in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement continued.

The forum provides funding for over 100 projects each year, with around US$16.5 million available in 2020, the statement noted.

Taiwan is also committed to the shared responsibility in APEC's collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen said in the statement.

"We wish to reaffirm our solidarity with all fellow economies as we continue to work closely and tirelessly together to find solutions to the current crisis, mitigating its impact, preventing its recurrence and recovering better together," he said.

The COVID-19 virus, which has ravaged the globe since its emergence late last year, has infected over 48 million people in 189 countries and regions, killing some 1.22 million to date, according to Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) statistics as of Thursday.

Taiwan, however, has been praised by the world, as it has only recorded 568 cases of mostly imported COVID-19, with only seven deaths. The country has also not recorded a domestic infection since April 12.

"We will recover better and thrive when we work and collaborate closer together, which is the strength of APEC as a forum," Sta Maria said. "Support for capacity building initiatives focused on emergency preparedness and health will help APEC build a much more resilient environment for our people in the region."

Due to the impact of the coronavirus, the APEC 2020 Leaders Summit will this year be hosted virtually for the first time.

(By William Yen)

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