Taiwan may close its Dhaka office
Taiwan may shut down its representative's office in Dhaka but expects to open new offices in Japan and Turkey to boost trade and investment there, says a Taipei-datelined news report.
Quoting Taiwanese Foreign Minister Francisco HL Ou, the Central News Agency reported that the decision of closure of its Dhaka office was being mulled over poor performance.
"In the light of Taiwan's frequent people-to-people exchanges with Japan and Turkey, the MOFA is considering establishing offices in Sapporo and Istanbul," Ou was quoted by the news agency as saying.
"In principle, the Japan and Turkey governments have both agreed to the idea," the foreign minister said.
"Given that bilateral relations between Taiwan and China are improving, the establishment of new representative offices abroad should now be smoother," he said.
Ou said the MOFA would evaluate whether to close representative offices based on factors such as whether the ministry already has too many offices in one country and whether the countries in question are friendly toward Taiwan.
The news of possible closure of Dhaka office came as a shock to officials of Taipei Representative's Office in Dhaka as they said Saturday they were not prepared for such a future decision since Bangladesh and Taiwan could both benefit through the office in the fields of trade and investment.
Taiwan, which is officially called the Republic of China, set up its office in Dhaka in 2003 to boost investment in Bangladesh, and officials said they are on the way of meeting their target but less optimism from the side of the Bangladesh government was hampering that effort.
In the 2003 agreement with the BNP-led four-party coalition government Bangladesh promised to open an office in Taipei to deal with trade and investment issues, but that did not happen to date.
Moreover, Taiwan is eager to get permission to process visa and other travel-related requirements for smooth travel by businesspeople from Dhaka while Taiwan wants manpower from Bangladesh for its growing economy.
“If the decision of closing down my office here in Dhaka is materialised, both sides will lose a scope to grow together," Frank Chen, the Taipei Office Representative in Dhaka, said Saturday.
He said he has long been pushing for further opening up of opportunities for issuing visa for Bangladeshi travellers while manpower import from Bangladesh was on the top of the agenda, but "different procedural mechanism has hampered our efforts".
Chen said Bangladesh has enormously benefited from Taiwanese investment since his office started functioning in 2004.