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Taiwan ICDF opens doors of 1st-ever overseas branch office in Myanmar

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF, 國合會), a Foreign Ministry-funded non-governmental organization responsible for international aid, recently opened its first overseas office in Myanmar, an official announced yesterday.

A ceremony to mark the opening of the Taiwan ICDF Myanmar Branch Office was held in Yangon on April 5, with ICDF Secretary-General Tao Wen-lung (陶文隆) present to host the ceremony, Morgan Chao (趙家寶), deputy secretary-general of the ICDF, said at a Foreign Ministry news briefing yesterday.

 Chao said this is Taiwan ICDF's first overseas office. According to Chao, the opening of the office will boost Taiwan's presence in the country and could facilitate bilateral cooperation in the Southeast Asian country in the years to come.

Asked to comment if the move could mean a step closer for the country in opening an official representative office in Myanmar, Chao did not give a direct response, saying only that his organization would not rule out any possibilities in the future.

Chao said the ICDF office is expected to offer assistance to help Myanmar's government on rice cultivation. Taiwan is also scheduled to introduce photovoltaic or Solar Electric to Myanmar, as only around 20 percent of Myanmar's people have access to electricity.

According to Chao, the office was made possible based on a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides in October 2013. The Myanmar authorities officially approved the ICDF office in March.

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the nation's major trade development organization, opened a trade office in Yangon in November 2013.

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Representatives of the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF, 國合會) and Myanmar unveil the plaque of the new overseas office in Myanmar, yesterday. According to ICDF officials, this is Taiwan ICDF's first overseas office.

(CNA)

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