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Penang Delegation in Tainan for Talks on Building up Business Partnership

 

A delegation from the Malaysian state of Penang visited Tainan City Hall on September 8. Led by Democratic Action Party (DAP) Penang State Chairman Chow Kon Yeow, the visitors were warmly received by Tainan Deputy Mayor Chung-rong Wu. The two sides had a broad discussion of connections between Penang and Tainan, including business investment and harbor city development.

 

Before visiting Tainan, the Malaysian delegation participated in the 2016 Global Harbor Cities Forum in Kaohsiung on September 6 and 7. In Tainan, as well as calling at City Hall, they enjoyed a tour of the city’s cultural and historical sites, taking in the Koxinga Family Shrine, Hayashi Department Store, and Chimei Museum.

 

In his welcoming remarks, Deputy Mayor Wu expressed his pleasure at having met with Chairman Chow when they both attended the Mayor’s Roundtable at the 2016 Global Harbor Cities Forum on September 7. Stressing Malaysia’s importance in Southeast Asia, the deputy mayor praised its outstanding economic performance. He said he had visited Malaysia three times in the past, twice on personal trips, and in 2015 to attend the FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence Awards on behalf of Tainan City Government. He had many happy memories and a deeply positive impression from those visits. Reiterating his gladness at receiving a delegation from Penang, which he noted had a higher proportion of ethnic Chinese than other cities in Malaysia, he said he hoped that the visitors would enjoy Tainan’s culinary treats and cultural treasures, and be moved by its people’s warm friendliness.

 

Chairman Chow thanked the deputy mayor for his hospitality, and expressed gratitude to Mr. Chen-te Hsu, Chairman of the Taipei Investors' Association in Malaysia, for helping arrange the delegation’s itinerary in Tainan. This trip, he said, had been highly fruitful, giving his delegation precious opportunities to exchange ideas with representatives of other countries participating in the Global Harbor Cities Forum, and to contribute to joint efforts for promoting the development of harbor cities. The delegation leader then remarked that Penang was the main recipient of Taiwan’s business investment in Malaysia, and that Taiwan was a very important economic partner of his state. Because of the many similarities of language, culture and cuisine between Penang and Taiwan, Taiwanese could feel at home and live comfortably in Penang.

 

Mr. Hsu, Chairman of the Taipei Investors' Association in Malaysia, said that Taiwanese society largely lacked knowledge about the countries in Southeast Asia. He hoped that, with the government now vigorously implementing its “new southbound policy” aimed at building a new partnership with the countries of ASEAN and South Asia, more opportunities would arise for communicating and interacting with Southeast Asian countries. Taiwanese business people could serve as a main conduit of two-way communication and connection across the South China Sea, and he would be very glad to provide all forms of assistance for this. 

 

Dr. Shih-chung Liu, Deputy Secretary-General of Tainan City Government, said that Tainan was Taiwan’s oldest city and was commonly regarded as Taiwan’s cultural capital. The city’s Anping Harbor, built in the 17th Century, was Taiwan’s first international harbor. Its rich history and cultural assets were its most particular features, distinguishing it from other harbor cities. Hence, future plans for the harbor would emphasize its development for tourism as well as for shipping bulk cargo, to preserve its cultural significance while developing a new port economy.