By Behlul Cetinkaya
ANKARA (AA) – Taiwan’s direct investment in Turkey has increased 10-fold and the number of Taiwanese tourists visiting the country has surged four times over the past seven years, Taiwan’s head of economic and cultural mission in Ankara said on Thursday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yaser Tai-Hsiang Cheng, whose seven-year term in the office ended, commented on bilateral ties and recent developments.
Yaser said Turkey and Taiwan had great potential for cooperation despite their distant locations, and both sides reached over 10 memoranda of understanding in the context of cooperation during the same period, which helped them obtain tangible benefits.
Noting that Turkish Airlines (THY) started direct flights between Taipei and Istanbul in 2015, he said that a total of 120,000 Taiwanese visited Turkey annually, a four-time increase. He further noted that Taiwan's direct investment in Turkey reached about $640 million.
Among fields of cooperation between Turkey and Taiwan are trade, technology, humanitarian aid, culture, tourism, education, medical and judiciary assistance, fight against criminals, the official said.
According to Cheng, the two sides should not allow the Chinese administration to hamper bilateral ties and they had room for further cooperation in various fields.
The Taiwanese official argued that the world had been under threat from the Chinese administration for many years and ignoring or tolerating this would lead to serious injustices.
He further said that Turkey was an "exemplary" country among Islamic and Turkic countries, and he believed Ankara's goals were based on neutrality and justice, adding he looked for the establishment of a comprehensive strategical cooperation between Turkey and Taiwan.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas