India to mull over next step in proposed economic pact
CNANEW DELHI -- India will evaluate whether it needs to set up a working group to handle a proposed economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan, Taiwanese Vice Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun said.
September 6, 2013, 12:46 am TWN
Taiwan's Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research and India's Council for Research on International Economic Relations published a feasibility report Monday, recommending that the governments of both countries proceed with the proposed pact as soon as possible.
“The Indian side has received the report and is aware of the positive recommendations,” said Duh, during a visit to the South Asian country. “India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry said it will take four to five weeks to study the report before making an evaluation.”
The Taiwanese government is willing to push for the pact so that Taiwanese companies can seek global expansion through India, he said.
A bad economic period usually presents good opportunities for investment, Duh said, referring to India's 5-percent economic growth in the past fiscal year, its slowest in 10 years.
He said the biggest challenges for Taiwanese companies planning to invest in India are likely to be cultural differences and its weak infrastructure.
“Japanese and South Korean companies encountered difficulties when they first came to India, not to mention smaller Taiwanese companies,” Duh said. “But despite the challenges, Taiwanese businesses cannot afford to ignore the Indian market if they plan to expand overseas.”
Taiwan has free trade agreements with its five Central American allies and an economic cooperation agreement with New Zealand, which was signed July 10. Talks with Singapore on an economic pact are in progress.
Fourth Taiwan Education
Center in India
Taiwan is seeking to expand higher educational exchanges with southern India though the establishment of a fourth education center that was opened in the South Asian country Wednesday.
The Taiwan Education Center, established by National Tsing Hua University of Taiwan with the backing of the Ministry of Education, is located at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) in the southern city of Chennai.
Representatives of the two universities signed a cooperation agreement at the opening ceremony.
A Taiwanese teacher is expected to arrive in Chennai by the end of the month to start Chinese language lessons. Seven others are already stationed at three other education centers at O.P. Jindal Global University in the state of Haryana, Amity University in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi.
The Chinese-language program began in late July, offering 360 hour courses to help Indian students acquire proficiency in Chinese.
The Taiwan education centers teach traditional Chinese characters rather than the simplified characters used in mainland China, according to Taiwan's representative to India James Tien. He said traditional characters better represent the beauty and essence of Chinese culture.