Taipei Representative Office in Singapore Hosts 108th Double Tenth National Day Reception

The Taipei Representative Office in Singapore celebrated the Republic of China’s 108th Double Tenth National Day with a noon reception at the Shangri-La Hotel on 10 October 2019.  Hosted by Representative Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang, the event was attended by over 1,300 friends and well-wishers from the political, business, academic and diplomatic community in Singapore.

In his address, Representative Francis Liang drew attention to the  longstanding and close bilateral relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Singapore.  In the area of trade, Singapore and Taiwan’s two-way trade amounted to over US$47.8 billion in 2018, with Singapore as Taiwan’s sixth largest trading partner and Taiwan as Singapore’s fifth largest trading partner.  Both countries also enjoy close people-to-people ties.  In 2018, there were over 180 delegations from Taiwan visiting Singapore, and tourist numbers hit a record high of over 750,000 visitors.

In addition, Representative Francis Liang reiterated that Taiwan, as a mature democracy, stands ready to play a responsible and constructive role in the international community. Taiwan wishes to spread its “warm power” through diverse international cooperation and humanitarian assistance.  At the same time, the government also works with its industries in a concerted effort to share Taiwan’s soft power in such areas as smart technology and innovation, agriculture, culture, health care, education, and social welfare. In this way, Taiwan strives unwaveringly on its quest to make impactful contributions across the globe through meaningful engagement, and through participation in international organizations.

Representative Francis Liang pointed out that over the 3½ years under President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, Taiwan’s economic performance has been solid. Taiwan’s economic growth this year is expected to reach 2.4%, and an even stronger performance is forecast for next year.  Unemployment rates have steadily declined, dipping to a 19-year low. According to the 2019 Report published by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF), Taiwan’s global competitiveness ranking rose one place to 12th in the world among the 141 countries surveyed. This puts Taiwan at fourth in the Asia-Pacific.    Taiwan was also recognized as one of the world’s four “super innovators”, along with Germany, the United States, and Switzerland.

Representative Liang elaborated that one of the reasons for Taiwan’s good economic performance is its outstanding success in attracting investments. Foreign enterprises have increased their investments in Taiwan. Among these are big-name companies including Supermicro, Google and Honda.  This year has also seen a record number of overseas Taiwanese businesses investing back home. As of September 2019, returning Taiwanese companies have made total investments of close to US$20 billion, and created 28,500 jobs in Taiwan.

In addition, Representative Liang stated that Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, which is an important initiative for Taiwan in promoting a new model of economic development and reducing reliance on a single market, has led to the expansion of its ties with Southeast Asia and South Asia. Through diligent implementation of the New Southbound Policy and with the US-China trade war placing the spotlight on Southeast Asia and India as prime areas for future growth in trade and investment, Taiwan has yielded significant results. Trade with New Southbound Policy partner countries in 2018 totaled over US$117 billion, and the overall number of visitors between Taiwan and New Southbound Policy partner countries has also registered notable increases.

At the close of Representative Francis Liang’s remarks, VIP guests were invited to join him on stage where they led everyone in the singing of the birthday song to celebrate the Republic of China’s 108th  birthday, followed by the cutting of a birthday cake.  Amidst applause and three loud Singapore-style cheers of “Yam Seng”, everyone raised their glasses to the joyous and memorable occasion.

During the reception, a video clip entitled “Brave and Confident: One with the World”, was played.  The video clip reflects the Taiwanese people's shared hope to engage with the world, and is a reminder that the Double Tenth National Day celebrates the values they hold dear – democracy, freedom, and human rights.  The video clip also showed Taiwan’s particular emphasis on innovating the economy, integrating cultures from across the world, and playing a responsible and constructive role in the international community. It follows with no surprise that the reception, with the gathering of people of different cultures and races, presented a picture of friendship across borders and boundaries.

Group photo of Representative Francis Liang (seventh from right) and VIP guests at the cake-cutting ceremony during the ROC 108th Double Tenth National Day reception.

Group photo of Representative Francis Liang (seventh from right) and VIP guests at the cake-cutting ceremony during the ROC 108th Double Tenth National Day reception.

Representative Francis Liang reiterated that Taiwan, as a mature democracy, stands ready to play a responsible and constructive role in the international community.