GCTF postponed amid coronavirus concerns

02/18/2020 10:49 PM
2019 GCTF, CNA file photo
2019 GCTF, CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) The Global Cooperation Training Framework (GCTF), a tripartite platform involving Taiwan, the United States and Japan that brings Taiwan's expertise and leadership to the global stage, has been postponed amid the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

At a news briefing, Vincent Yao (姚金祥), chief of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs said the ministry has not received confirmation of attendance from instructors and participants for about 10 workshops under the GCTF amid the spread of COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The workshops were previously scheduled from March to December, but following virus fears, Yao said those initially set to take place in March and April will now be delayed until June and July, while other seminars' schedules have not been finalized.

The workshops will cover a wide range of topics such as ocean waste treatment, public health, law enforcement cooperation and cyber security.

The GCTF was established in June 2015 to support cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. on a wide range of topics such as international public health, humanitarian assistance and other global issues.

Japan joined the project in 2019 and has become one of the sponsors of the workshops.

In a speech on Jan. 17, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen said workshops for 2020 will be co-hosted by a fourth partner in addition to Japan, the first co-host being the Netherlands.

The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office told CNA that Freek van Eijk, in charge of the Holland Circular Hotspot, which is a circular economy platform, was scheduled to visit Taiwan in March as an envoy to share the country's experience in circular economy development at a GCTF workshop in March.

Despite the postponement to June, the office said the envoy will still visit Taiwan and meet with government officials to push for bilateral cooperation.

The office said it is seeking participants for the upcoming GCTF workshops, adding that it has informed the Netherlands government that Taiwan has so far minimized the spread of the COVID-19.

(By Chen Yun-yu and Frances Huang)

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