Election 2020

Taiwan Congratulates Myanmar’s NLD on Election Victory

By Nan Lwin 18 November 2020

YANGON—Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has joined the parade of leaders from Asia-Pacific and beyond who have flooded Myanmar State Counselor and her ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) with congratulatory messages on their landslide victory in the Nov. 8 election.

NLD candidates secured 920 of 1,117 elected seats nationwide in the lower and upper houses of the Union Parliament, and the state and regional parliaments, as well as ethnic affairs minister posts, and the party won enough Union Parliament seats to form Myanmar’s next government.

In his congratulatory message to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday, Wu said, “The successful completion of the general elections further signifies Myanmar’s democratization efforts and progress.”

He said Taiwan and Myanmar shared common values of freedom and democracy.

Wu pointed out that bilateral economic relations and cooperation between the two countries on rural development, humanitarian relief, and education and training have grown steadily since Taiwan opened a branch office of its International Cooperation and Development Fund in Myanmar in 2014, followed by the establishment of a Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the country in 2016.

He said Taiwan looked forward to working with the government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to promote bilateral dialogue and deepen its partnership with Myanmar.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office also released a statement commending the Myanmar government on its smooth holding of the election despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. It said the office and the Taiwan government would work with the new democratically elected government of Myanmar to jointly promote the peace process, deepen democracy and boost economic cooperation.

While Myanmar and Taiwan’s relations are constrained by the fact that Myanmar follows the One China Policy and only recognizes the People’s Republic of China, Myanmar is one of the countries that Taiwan aims to develop a stronger diplomatic relationship with under its New Southbound Policy initiated by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.

Established as part of the policy, the island country’s Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Myanmar acts as an informal embassy, promoting exchanges in trade and investment, tourism and cultural cooperation.

In line with the policy, Taiwanese companies are also encouraged to pursue projects in Southeast Asia including Myanmar, particularly in industrial supply chains, medical cooperation, agriculture and tourism.

According to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, the Myanmar government’s investment agency, Taiwan is currently the 11th-largest investor in Myanmar under the NLD administration for the period between fiscal year 2016-17 and the ongoing FY2020-21, which began in October.

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