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U.S. group in Taiwan to drum up co-investment in developing countries

03/08/2024 05:12 PM
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei. CNA file photo
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei. CNA file photo

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) An American delegation intent on spurring growth in developing countries is in Taiwan to discuss joint investments with Taiwanese partners that will benefit economies around the world.

United States International Development Finance Corp (DFC) Chief of Staff Jane Rhee, who arrived in Taiwan with her team on Thursday, said Friday before a closed-door discussion hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) that the DFC group intends to partner with Taiwan in two ways.

One is to co-finance joint investments with Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), a government-funded agency that pursues international cooperation to advance Taiwan's diplomatic interests.

The other, she said, is to "work with Taiwan's private sector to make those investments around the world, including some priority areas such as the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific Islands."

Infrastructure, health, energy, agriculture, and small business support are the main areas in which the DFC hopes to inject resources, Rhee said.

The DFC, the United States government's development finance institution, was created in 2019 with the aim of mobilizing private sector capital to help countries around the world meet critical needs, she said.

"We have a range of tools that we have available, including debt, equity, political risk insurance and other financing tools. And [for each project] the amount ranges widely from US$1 million to up to US$1 billion," she said.

Spurring economic growth and improving the livelihoods of people and communities around the world is certainly a goal, Rhee said, but no less important is to do so "in a way that aligns with U.S. priorities, including by working closely with partners who share our objective of supporting high-quality and high-standard projects."

Alex L. J. Shyy (史立軍), deputy secretary general of the ICDF, said the purpose of the DFC is to support the development of the private sector in developing countries, which include many of Taiwan's diplomatic allies.

"The ICDF is ready to work with the DFC in areas with a common focus such as women's empowerment, health, the development of small and medium enterprises, and climate to help these countries achieve sustainable development," Shyy said.

Other than financing, "technical cooperation and feasibility studies" are also areas in which the ICDF can contribute," he said.

According to MOFA, attending Friday's meeting were representatives of MOFA, the ICDF, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, and the private sector.

Bilateral cooperation between the DFC and ICDF begin after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on international development cooperation between the two sides on Feb. 22 in Washington.

The MOU committed the ICDF and the DFC to exploring cooperation in such areas as health care, women's empowerment, information and communication technology (ICT), agriculture, climate, energy, small and medium-sized enterprises, and infrastructure.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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