Taiwan and Somaliland stand to benefit from bilateral cooperation, given their strategic locations and shared values, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
The appointment of Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, and the opening of Taiwan’s representative office in the country marked “a new era of bilateral relations,” Tsai said in a meeting with Mohamoud at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
Tsai said she is confident that through close cooperation, the nations could “better leverage each other’s strengths and diversify our development.”
Somaliland is strategically located “in the horn of Africa,” while Taiwan occupies “a geographically important and strategic position” in the Indo-Pacific region, she said.
Somaliland is a “paradigm of democracy in Africa,” and like Taiwan, it has been striving to deepen its democratic values, Tsai said
“Through joint efforts, we can become close partners and staunchly support each other in the international arena,” she said.
Mohamoud said that his country and Taiwan share common democratic values and a “historic and strategic affinity,” as they have managed “to overcome the negative effects of their unfortunate international isolation.”
Taiwanese investors are welcome to look at the business potential in Somaliland, such as in telecommunications, finance, digital economy, fishing, agriculture, construction, alternative energy, mining and the service industry, Mohamoud said.
Somaliland has been “a beacon of democracy” in Africa over the past 30 years, and continues to contribute to the international community in areas such as economic security and counterpiracy programs, he said.
It has also taken in people fleeing from Somalia, Yemen, Syria and other countries, sharing “the burden of managing the impact of world conflict,” and works closely with global partners to stem the illicit flow of arms and human trafficking, Mohamoud said.
In February, Taiwan and Somaliland signed an agreement to establish reciprocal representative offices. Taiwan opened its office in Somaliland on Aug. 17, while Somaliland opened its office in Taipei on Sept. 9.
Somaliland declared independence in 1991 after a civil war in Somalia. It has offices in about a dozen countries, according to the Web site of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but is not recognized by any country as a sovereign nation.