By Tien-Sze Fang
19 Feb , 2016
Greater cooperation between India and Taiwan could prove critical in helping New Delhi and Taipei achieve their economic goals at home and their strategic aims in the region. It is time to acknowledge the importance of India – Taiwan relations. India should consider its own interests not the third party’s ones, when it thinks of developing relations with Taiwan or other countries. The areas of cooperation between India and Taiwan are bound to be limited so long as their political relations remain negligible.
With the two sides having established representative offices in 1995 in New Delhi and Taipei respectively, India-Taiwan relations have been improving gradually. Between 1995 and 2014, the bilateral trade turnover has grown manifold from just $934 million to $5.91 billion. Both sides have also expanded educational exchanges after a mutual degree recognition agreement in higher education was signed in 2010. In the field of science and technology, there are more than thirty ongoing government-funded joint research projects. However, the India-Taiwan relationship is still small scale when compared to the potentials. Constrained by its commitment to Beijing’s “One China” policy, New Delhi finds it difficult to realise the potential of its bilateral relationship with Taiwan. Even as India launches its “Act East” policy and ambitious initiatives such as “Make in India”, it is time to highlight the importance of Taiwan for an emerging India and bring the India-Taiwan relationship into focus.