Taiwanese envoy said: Taiwan-Philippines ties closer than ever

Manila, Oct. 26 (CNA) The links between Taiwan and the Philippines are closer now than at any time in the past, according to Taiwan's representative to the Southeast Asian country Raymond Wang.

Bilateral ties between the two countries have grown closer because of increasing interaction on economic, trade and labor affairs, as well as humanitarian relief efforts, Wang said Thursday in a newspaper interview that will be published in mid-November in the Philippines.

Taiwan is now the Philippines' eighth largest trading partner and its seventh biggest foreign investor, he told the English-language Business Mirror.

Wang said trade between Taiwan and the Philippines totaled US$10 billion last year, and that exchange visits by trade and economic officials and business delegations have become more frequent over the past years, according to his office.

The two countries have also maintained close relations in the labor and tourism sectors, he said.

He noted that there are about 100,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan and that their remittances to the Philippines total some US$650 million per year.

Taiwan is the Philippines' fifth largest source of tourism, he added, citing data that showed there were 180,000 Taiwanese tourist arrivals to the Philippines in 2011.

Moreover, Taiwan has always been quick to provide medical aid and donations to people in need in cases of natural disasters in the Philippines, the envoy said.

Currently, Taiwan is actively pursuing agreements with the Philippines on economic cooperation, mutual legal assistance and cooperation in fighting cross-border crimes, he noted.

In addition, Taiwan is pushing for the Philippines to grant.

The Central News Agency

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