Taiwan, U.S., Eswatini hold online talks on partnership opportunities

Taipei-Taiwan, the United States and the Kingdom of Eswatini jointly hosted a virtual Partnership Opportunity Delegation (POD) on Thursday, the first time Taiwan and the U.S. had expanded to an African country the cooperation model aimed at creating business opportunities in like-minded countries.

The three-nation POD event was convened in an effort to boost trade and economic exchanges and investment cooperation with like-minded partners, as the global economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release Friday.

The Taiwan-U.S.-Eswatini POD cooperation mechanism is aimed at establishing a trilateral trade and economic partnership, the ministry said.

Later, the minister tweeted: "The milestone in trilateral ties will spur the #BeautifulKingdom's rise as an e-commerce hub in #Africa."

The Office of the Spokesperson of the U.S. State Department issued a media note on Thursday, which states that the U.S. and Taiwan "are working together with Eswatini to identify private sector opportunities that will strengthen the information technology sector in Eswatini."

During the meeting, executives from Eswatini, the U.S. and Taiwan discussed several areas relating to high-tech collaboration, including the development of a regional eCommerce hub based in Eswatini to serve all of southern Africa.

"This initial virtual Partnership Opportunity Delegation will be followed with further engagements to build upon the key sector opportunities that were identified during the meeting," the media note said.

According to the U.S. State Department, the online conference was attended by business leaders from the U.S. and Taiwan who met with Eswatini Minister of Commerce Manqoba Khumalo.

The event also included U.S. Ambassador to Eswatini Jeanne Maloney, Taiwan Ambassador to Eswatini Jeremy Liang (???), the U.S. State Department's Managing Director for Global Partnerships Thomas Debass, and Prosper Africa's Managing Director for Africa Operations Brinton Bohling, the media note said.

Eswatini became Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Africa after Burkina Faso switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in May 2018.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel