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Potential opportunities in better India-Taiwan relations

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India

Synopsis – There are many potential opportunities in developing India-Taiwan relations. But the political will is lacking.

Introduction

  • The India-Taiwan relations have improved since the 1990s.
  • India and Taiwan have signed bilateral agreements in the field of agriculture, Custom Corporation, civil aviation, investments, double taxation avoidance agreement etc.
  • In 2018, India and Taiwan signed an updated bilateral investment agreement. 
  • But, there are no formal diplomatic relations between India and Taiwan. Due to the lack of political ties between India and Taiwan, areas of cooperation have been limited.

Due to Chinese retaliation, India neglected Taiwan for many years. But, the time has come for India to re-evaluate its relationship with Taiwan.

Potential opportunities in India-Taiwan relations

  • Healthcare- Taiwan handled the COVID-19 Pandemic successfully. It was able to provide medical supplies to more than 80 countries, including India. This underlines the need to have a better Healthcare Corporation.
  • Environmental and Agriculture aspect-
    • Taiwan is a specialist in the generation of biochemical area. The problem of air pollution caused by stubble burning is enormous in India. India and Taiwan can cooperate in turning the stubble into biochemical energy.
    • This would ultimately solve the issue of air pollution caused by stubble burning. Further, it can also increase the farmer’s income through clean energy production.
    • Both India and Taiwan can also undertake joint research and development initiatives in the field of organic farming.
  • Cultural aspect – Both India and Taiwan need to strengthen their people-to-people ties. To attract Taiwanese tourists, India should concentrate on developing Buddhist circuits.
  • Sharing technology
    • Electronics – Taiwan is a global leader in the semiconductor industry. India should focus on industry-level cooperation on this front.
    • Information Technology – India should expand ITES [Information Technology Enabled Services] to Taiwan.
  • Investment: India is a consumer-based economy. Invest in India initiative of India can attract large Taiwanese investment.

These steps will not only strengthen India-Taiwan relations but also provide a potential alternative to the dependence on China.

Suggestions to improve India-Taiwan relations:

  • India needs to lower regulatory and labour laws. At the same time, India has to increase its ease of doing business ranking to attract global companies.
  • For Buddhist pilgrimage tours in India, better connectivity and visibility are required. Develop tourist destinations and promote them.
  • Despite the One China policy, Taiwan maintains independent, non-diplomatic, relations with other nations. India should take a similar approach to deepen India-Taiwan relations.

India-Taiwan relations can be improved by many opportunities. But the only thing restricting the development is a strong political will between both partners.

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