Taiwan envoy bats for Ayurveda, Hindi

New Delhi, June 22 (Agency) The Indian government must promote subjects like Ayurveda, philosophy and Hindi in Taiwan to attract Taiwanese students to this country, a top official here of Taipei has said. Mumin Chen, Deputy Representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Center, told UNI that very few Taiwanese students come to India for education because of various reasons, including their lack of knowledge of Indian culture, religions and mostly Hindi language. “I want to encourage Indian universities to consider having joint programmes with Taiwan universities as now many famous universities around the world have joint degrees and joint programmes. However, the Indian government still has some restrictions on this matter,” he said. “As of now very few Taiwanese students come to India because education here takes a very long time.

Also, the post-graduate programmes are very tough.” He suggested that to attract Taiwanese students to India, “the government should promote subjects like Ayurveda, philosophy, Hindi”. “I will say that the first step is that the (government) could set up some kind of programme or centres in Taiwan. You need to sponsor your scholars to study in Taiwan to introduce Indian culture, religion and society. Then the Taiwanese get familiar with this subject. “In Taiwan nobody can speak Hindi as there is no India study programme or Hindi department in Taiwan universities.” Only with basic knowledge about India can the Taiwanese students come to India to learn Indian dancing, he added. Speaking on India-Taiwan relations, the envoy said: “India-Taiwan relations have been flourishing since 1995. One can see the bilateral relations from different perspectives. Politically, the Indian government still insists on ‘One China’ policy, as such there is no Taiwan Embassy but our office here is called Taipei Economic Cultural Centre and the India office in Taiwan is called India Taipei Association.”

The India-Taiwan relations are not just political but economy is also involved, he pointed out. Chen said that Taiwanese companies want to do business in India but most of government’s policies here are to attract big companies. He said the Indian government provides some incentives to attract foreign investment but there were two problems. “Firstly, most Indian government policies are to attract big companies but 80-90 per cent of Taiwanese companies are small and medium size. When these small companies went to China or Vietnam they did not face many problems. “So, unless the companies come in cluster and work together, it will be difficult to do business here.” Another problem he stated was that “as India is a federal state so each state has its own rule and the central government has its general policy. “When Taiwanese companies go to individual states, they face problems like tax. Besides, they find that some states more compatible than other. About 80 per cent Taiwanese companies are in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as they provide more incentives to attract foreign investments. “We don’t see much Taiwanese companies in northern India, including Delhi, because the south Indian states provide more incentives to attract Taiwanese companies.” India is Taiwan’s 17th largest trading partner and 14th largest export destination. Bilateral trade between India and Taiwan totaled $7.70 billion in 2021, representing an increase of 60.5 per cent over the previous year.

Taiwan’s exports to India amounted to $4.52 billion, consisting mainly of primarily of plastics, electronic integrated circuits, organic chemicals, electrical machinery, iron and steel. Taiwanese companies and Indian companies are trying to explore each other’s markets, Chen said, adding: “Since Taiwan and India are important bilateral trading partners, both sides have been vigorously working on and discussing mutually beneficial measures to expand bilateral trade based on the MoU signed between TAITRA and ITPO in 2018. “India is an ideal business location due to the abundant workforce with high-tech talents. The main sectors of Taiwan’s investment include smartphones, electronics, auto parts, textiles and machinery. “Currently, Taiwan is undertaking several investment projects in India such as the Technology and Innovation International Park (TIIP) project of Century Development Corporation.”