Taiwan to open trade office in India

NEW DELHI, April 17 (Reuters) - Taiwan will next month open a trade office in New Delhi, part of its efforts to expand business ties with Asia’s third largest economy amid China’s insistence on One China policy, a senior Taiwanese trade official said on Tuesday.

As Taiwan and India do not have a diplomatic relationship, the trade office in New Delhi is expected to provide services to Indian and Taiwanese companies to expand business.

India’s bilateral trade with the island-nation is expanding steadily touching $6.3 billion in 2017, up a quarter on the previous year.

“We don’t have government to government relationship with India,” Walter M.S.Yeh, president of Taiwan External Trade Development Council, a trade promoting body set up by the government and industries, told Reuters.

In an interview, Yeh said the trade office would help expand bilateral trade, expected to grow 20 percent a year. Indian partners and industrial chambers could help deal with policy matters.

Over 100 Taiwanese companies would showcase their technologies including in electric cars, healthcare and food processing at the first-ever Taiwan Expo, a trading exhibition, to be organised on May 17-19 in New Delhi, he said.

Taiwan Expos were organised in Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia in 2017, deepening ties across the board with the ASEAN markets.

Taiwan and Indian business cooperation had become particularly active in the past 2-3 years.

Since 2000, Taiwanese companies have invested just $287 million in India. But India expects this to go up once Taiwan’s Foxconn, electronics manufacturer and a key supplier to Apple Inc, puts an earlier announced $5 billion investment into India.

Both the countries are gradually warming though China has yet to react officially.

Last year, India brushed off protests from China over the visit of a three-member Taiwanese parliamentary delegation, saying the trip was not a formal one.

On lack of diplomatic relations, Yeh said “That doesn’t matter because the trading partners don’t need to talk about politics. We are talking about business cooperation.” (Reporting by Manoj Kumar Editing by Richard Balmforth)