Taiwan India Relations

General Background and Recent Developments:

When the Indian government initiated “Look East Policy” in early 1991, Taiwan and India started to approach each other and loosen visa restrictions. In 1995 the two countries established representative offices in each other’s capitals, namely Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (TECC) for ROC (Taiwan) in New Delhi and India-Taipei Association (ITA) for India in Taipei.

Taiwan-India relationship has made significant progress for the past decades. The two countries signed “Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement” and “Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement” in July 2011 which further enhanced the economic and trade relationship in particular for both sides.

In December 2012, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in Chennai was established. In March 2013 two countries signed “ATA Carnet Protocol”. In July 2014, ROC (Taiwan) Parliamentarians Mrs. Chen Chieh-ju, Ms. Kuan Bi-ling, Mr. Yao Wen-chih, among others visited New Delhi. In January 2015, a delegation led by Dr. Duh Tyzz-Jiun, Minister of Executive Yuan, along with Mr. Cho Shih-Chao, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, attended the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015. From the Indian side, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, the Nobel Peace Laureate 2014, and Mrs. Kailash visited Taiwan in January 2015. From 15th August 2015, the Indian government has included Taiwan nationals in the list of e-Tourism visa-on-arrival (eTV). In December 2015, TECC Representative Ambassador Tien Chung-Kwang and ITA Director General Manish Chauhan jointly signed the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.”

Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India's PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in June 2016; in September Ambassador Tien and ITA Director General Sridharan Madhusudhanan, on behalf of the ROC (Taiwan) and India, signed the "Air Services Agreement" and the MOU on Taiwan-India Agricultural Cooperation in Taipei; in November Mr. Chen Liang-Gee, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education visited India; Ambassador Tien and ITA Director General Sridharan Madhusudhanan inked the Letter of Intent for Cooperation on Railway Heritage in Chiayi City of Taiwan in December, 2016.

In February 2017, ROC (Taiwan) Parliamentarian Ms. Kuan Bi-ling, chairperson of Taiwan-India Parliamentary Friendship Association led a delegation to visit India. Taipei Mayor Mr. Ko Wen-je visited India in March, while Mrs. Wang Mei-Hua, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs came in May, 2017. Later the year, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Mr. Ho Chi-kung and Deputy Minister of Education Mr. Yao Leeh-ter visited India in September on different missions. Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Chairman Mr. James C. F. Huang led a delegation to hold "SMART ASIA 2017" exposition in Bangalore in November. Ambassador Tien and ITA Director General Sridharan Madhusudhanan, on behalf of Taiwan and India, signed the "MOU on Promotion of Industry Collaboration" on December 14, 2017 and the "Bilateral Investment Agreement" on December 18, 2018.

TAITRA established a liaison office in New Delhi in April 2018 and held the first-ever Taiwan Expo in India in May. Due to shared willingness for further cooperation, the two countries have built up cordial and friendly relationship in areas such as economic cooperation, cultural and educational exchanges, as well as high-ranking official visits in recent years.

Trade, Commerce and Investment Relationships:

Economic cooperation in areas of trade, investment and industry between India and Taiwan has been very close in recent years. Bilateral trade has grown nearly six-fold from USD 1.19 billion in 2001 to almost USD 7.05 billion in 2018. India ranks as Taiwan’s 14th largest export destination and 18th largest source of imports. The bilateral trade relationship is further enhanced by frequent exchanges of visits by business delegations.

As of the end of 2018, around 106 Taiwanese companies have set up business operations in India, with the total investment amount of USD 1.5 billion in the fields of information and communication technology, medical devices, automobile components, machinery, steel, electronics, construction, engineering, financial services, etc. A Taiwanese company has selected one site in Karnataka to build an electronics manufacturing cluster with a view to deepening supply chain collaboration with Indian partners.

Collaboration of small and medium enterprises is another focal area. Both sides have strengthened cooperation in important areas of policy sharing, technological assistance, innovation, entrepreneurship and business incubation, market development, as well as capacity and capability building.

Bilateral Economic Consultations Meetings between India and Taiwan are held annually and have been proven to be a success in bringing various mutual beneficial opportunities to both sides. Governments and industries of India and Taiwan will continue to engage closely in “Make in India, ”“Digital India,” “Skill India,” and “Startup India” initiatives for collective growth.

Science & Technology Cooperation:

The MOU on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed between TECC and ITA in 2007. Another MOU of cooperation was signed between ROC (Taiwan) Academia Sinica and Indian National Science Academy in 2012. Bilateral joint meetings and academic seminars are held annually. As of March, 2019, a total of 86 projects and joint proposals have been carried out while 24 seminars have been held bilaterally.

The cooperation in science & technology contains a wide range of fields such as agricultural and food science; new material for sustainable energy and storage devices; health care including functional genomics, drug development and biomedical devices; earth, atmosphere and ocean sciences including disaster management & digital technology for societal applications and cloud computing.

Education Cooperation:

Over the past decade, over 300 Indian students have availed themselves of scholarships offered by the ROC (Taiwan) government. At present there are 100,000 foreign students studying in Taiwan, of whom 2,398 students hail from India. Foreign students are encouraged to study in Taiwan, and India is one of the countries whose students we actively pursue.

In 2010, Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan signed an MOU with Association of Indian Universities, by which academic degrees and certificates recognized by one will be recognized by the other, allowing for greater research collaboration and exchanges by teachers and school administrators.

Currently there are 7 Taiwan Education Centers (TEC) set up in various universities in India with 13 teachers from Taiwan teaching Mandarin Chinese. Over 5,000 Indian students have taken Chinese courses in India. The TECs in Indian also provide Chinese courses for senior Indian officials, tourism promoters and employees working for Taiwan enterprises in India.

Cultural Exchanges

Cultural exchanges between Taiwan and India have been on the increase in recent years. In addition to the Taiwan films being screened annually in major films festivals of India, performing art groups from Taiwan have also been welcomed by Indian audience.

The Ju Percussion Group visited India in 2011, Ten Drum Art Percussion Group in 2013. U Theatre in 2014, and Ming Hwa Yuan Art & Culture Group and Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra in 2015. The Youth Ambassadors delegation sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited India to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges in 2014, 2015 and 2017, respectively. Da-Guan Dance Theater of the National Taiwan University of Arts, TAI Body Theater and Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra also visited India in 2017. In 2018, another Youth Ambassadors delegation visited India and a Taiwan Film Festival was held by TECC in New Delhi.