Mei-Hua Wang, Minister of Economic Affairs, received the delegation from the Somaliland cabinet on February 9, 2022. The delegation is led by H.E. Dr. Essa Kayd Mohamoud, Somaliland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and includes H.E. Dr. Saad Ali Shire, Minister of Finance and Development, H.E. Omar Ali Abdilahi, Minister of Planning and National Development, and H.E. Saeed Sulub Mohamed, Minister of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Development. Minister Wang sincerely welcomed the delegation to Taiwan, and was pleased to see that Taiwan and Somaliland have been strengthening their cooperative ties through exploring potential business opportunities.
Minister Wang said that the economic cooperation between Taiwan and Somaliland is very promising. For example, in December 2021, Taiwan’s CPC Corporation signed the transfer agreement with UK’s Genel Energy, acquiring 49% of the rights on exploring the hydrocarbon resources in the SL10B and SL13 mining areas, and such agreement has been approved by the Somaliland government. Following the signing of the agreement, CPC’s plan for 2022 is to proceed seismic interpretations and to determine the location for its first exploration well, which is expected to be drilled in 2023. With its hydrocarbon resources being explored, Somaliland plans to deliver its oil and gas to the international energy market via Berbera port in the near future. While exploring the oil and gas storage in Somaliland, CPC will also co-work with Somaliland on training the professionals to explore such resources for further production.
Minister Mohamoud said that Somaliland and Taiwan both have strategic locations. Somaliland is located between Europe, Asia and Africa, with its Berbera port acting as the hub for these three continents to import and export goods; Taiwan, on the other hand, has an excellent location to both northeast and southeast Asia. To be specific, Somaliland has abundant natural resources, agricultural products, frankincense, salt, minerals and fishery products for export, while some of its major import goods include food, electrical and electronic products, textiles and footwear, which can be fulfilled by Taiwan’s businesses. Since Taiwan and Somaliland’s industries are highly complementary, Somaliland expects to have more trade and investment opportunities with Taiwan, and to act as the gateway for Taiwan’s businesses to enter the east African markets.
Minister Wang expressed her agreement with Minister Mohamoud’s views. In order to facilitate the economic and trade exchanges between the two countries, TAITRA has organized several business-matching events since 2020. This year, there will also be trade-promoting events held by the Taiwan side, such as the sales mission, the international trade fair and business forums to boost the trade exchanges. MOEA also encourages Somaliland to initiate trade events by contacting its representative office in Taiwan.
According to Minister Mohamoud, Somaliland has abundant natural resources that are not yet tapped and a young labor force. With such strengths, Somaliland hopes to attract Taiwan’s businesses to invest and to further expand the cooperation with Taiwan in various fields. Minister Wang responded that it can start with having more information about Somaliland and its businesses and setting up the priority areas. It would be MOEA’s pleasure to promote business opportunities between Taiwan and Somaliland and to further strengthen the cooperative ties.
Taiwan and Somaliland both praise the value of freedom and democracy. The visit of the Somaliland delegation this time demonstrates Somaliland’s hope to strengthen its economic relation with Taiwan under the goal of achieving mutual benefits. The meeting was full of warm atmosphere and lasted for around one hour.