STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-TAOYUAN COOPERATION
REPRESENTATIVE JENNY BLOOMFIELD, AUSTRALIAN OFFICE
27 SEPTEMBER 2021
On 27 September, Australian Representative Jenny Bloomfield visited Taoyuan to discuss bilateral ties and opportunities for cooperation. During her visit, she met with Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, and a number of Australian companies and other business and organisations with connections to Australia.
As Taiwan’s international gateway, Taoyuan has been on the front line of Taiwan’s COVID-19 response. Representative Bloomfield commended the Taoyuan City Government on its epidemic prevention measures, including containing a number of cluster outbreaks, and thanked Taoyuan’s airport, hospital and quarantine hotel staff and all residents who had worked hard to keep Taiwan’s international transport links open while at the same time ensuring Taiwan remained safe. Australia and Taiwan had shared experiences and supported each other during the pandemic and we hoped to work together to develop pathways out of COVID, including strengthening health, medical and biotech links.
Representative Bloomfield welcomed Taoyuan’s role as an important logistics hub supporting the operations of a number of Australian companies including in agrifood, logistics, professional services and other sectors. As the logistics gateway to Taiwan, Taoyuan was playing an important role in the continued supply of food during COVID. As a close trading partner with strong connectivity and air links, Australia was proud to be a major supplier of the freshest, highest quality premium food to Taiwan.
Taoyuan is also the location of Australia’s second largest investment in Taiwan, Ansett Aviation Asia. Ansett Aviation Asia was one of the first foreign companies to invest in Taoyuan’s Aerotropolis and plays an important role in training pilots and helping maintain Taiwan’s air safety, particularly important during COVID.
Representative Bloomfield discussed developments in the Australia-Taiwan energy and resources partnership, including the recent Australia-Taiwan Hydrogen Trade and Investment Dialogue and the Joint Energy and Minerals Trade and Investment Consultations. As Taiwan’s largest energy and resources provider, Australia is helping support Taiwan’s energy transition including through its supply of LNG, and we are working together on renewable energy such as offshore wind and low emissions technologies such as hydrogen.
Representative Bloomfield thanked the Taoyuan Mayor for virtually addressing the 2021 APCS Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Brisbane on 8 September and commended Taoyuan’s smart city/green city credentials, including being awarded the Intelligent Community Forum’s ‘Intelligent Community of the Year’ in 2019. Like Taoyuan, Australia was actively promoting this agenda and we were keen to learn from each other and work together to foster innovation, attract investment and talent, and promote economic growth.
Finally, Representative Bloomfield said she was strongly focused on promoting education cooperation including to assist Taiwan meet its “Bilingual 2030” goals. Taoyuan had close links, including education exchanges, with sister city Logan in Queensland, and Australia was proud to be the second most popular overseas study destination for Taiwanese students, including from Taoyuan. We looked forward to resuming these contacts post-COVID, and to further strengthening people to people links.