LAOAG CITY, -— Ambassador Gary Song-Huann Lin of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines is eyeing agriculture development partnership with the people of Piddig.
Through a people to people and business to business scheme, the Taiwan government currently implements its “new southbound policy” to benefit Ilocano entrepreneurs to pursue partnerships with Taiwanese firms in agribusiness, manufacturing, banking, transport, and communications, infrastructure and real estate, and tourism and logistics.
The Taiwanese ambassador on Monday said there is a lot of commonalities between the people of Piddig and Taiwan which could be harnessed to complement each other.
As the main gateway for the new southbound policy, Piddig, Ilocos Norte is being aimed as one of the areas to expand cooperation and partnership with Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
After a courtesy visit of the Taiwanese ambassador and party to the officials of Piddig town led by Mayor Georgina Guillen including other representatives of national government agencies and private firms, the Piddig government expressed readiness to partner with Taiwan.
Among the potential projects being considered is its coffee production project along with other high value crops the town could possibly adopt using Taiwan technology.
With Piddig’s rich natural capital such as availability of land, water and readily available manpower, former mayor Eddie Guillen, now a consultant to the mayor, said its growing farmer-cooperative could work hand in hand with business groups and peoples cooperative in Taiwan to further boost agro-tourism initiatives, enterprise development and human capital investment among others.
Lin said Piddig potential is enormous. Hence, Taiwan wants to strengthen its friendly relations in this northern part of Luzon, which is very accessible to Taiwan via the Laoag International Airport.
“I think this is the future for Piddig to develop high value crops using Taiwan technology, tourism and other agriculture-related ventures,” said Lin as he underscored the Ilocos climate is very much like Taiwan’s, including its friendly and hardworking people.
Aside from that, Taiwan is also encouraging young Ilocanos to pursue agriculture and development short term courses in Taiwan as most of its farmers now are now aging and they need more manpower to work on field. After that, they may consider to go back in the Philippines to share their expertise.
The Taiwanese ambassador also lauded the municipal government infrastructure development efforts and its public and private partnership initiatives as he was toured around Piddig town.
He visited Piddig’s largest multi-purpose flood-control project including its multi-million rice processing complex.