Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada

Catherine Landry | 16 avril 2021

Poly-Monde had the honour of being received by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada (TECO). Located in Ottawa, it aims “to promote bilateral trade, investment, culture, science and technology exchanges and cooperation, as well as better understanding between Taiwan and Canada’’ (TECO, 2021). 

This meeting was hosted by Shelly Lin and the opening remarks were given by Christine Tsai, Deputy Representative. She stated how grateful she was that Taiwan was chosen for the 2nd time by Poly-Monde as its destination and wished for us to be able to visit it soon.

During this insightful meeting, we first met with Simon Sung, Executive Director of the Information Division. He started by stressing the importance of Taiwan’s geographical position for commercial routes. He then presented Taiwan’s society in general, notably that:

  • Its area is about the size of Vancouver Island;
  • Its population is the same as Ontario’s and Quebec’s combined;
  • It is recognized as a full democracy by the Economist’s Democracy Index;
  • It scores first place in the Numbeo Health Care Index;
  • It is the second freest country in Asia as ranked by Freedom House;

These elements were put in perspective with regards to the complicated relationship between China and Taiwan. He called for support from the Canadian government to support the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) sovereignty. Taiwan has been cooperating with Canadians, one example being their donation of high-quality face masks in the recent pandemic.

The second speaker was Susan Chi-Chuan Hu, Executive Director of the Economic Division. Taiwan is Canada's 15th largest trading partner in the world and the 6th in Asia. Taiwanese economic minister Wang and Canadian Minister Ng met recently to discuss business opportunities focusing on AI, automation and new generation communications that can apply to priority sectors of EV, health, and semiconductors. Taiwan is a key player in semi-conduction and Tesla’s supply chain. It is also trying to develop its electric buses while leveraging 5G and AI opportunities.

Mrs. Hu also presented the Contact Taiwan website, which lists career opportunities located in Taiwan and overseas provided by over 1,700 Taiwanese companies.

The third speaker, Peter Pan, Executive Director of the Science and Technology Division presented an overview of the ongoing research in Taiwan. The Ministry of Science and Technology currently focuses more on six areas: 

  1. Precision Health Initiative
  2. Advanced Internet Infrastructure
  3. Excellent Cybersecurity
  4. Forward-looking semiconductor
  5. Digital Transformation
  6. Satellite and Space

These priority sectors are fueled by many great institutes, such as the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, the Taiwan Ocean research Institute, the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute and many more, to name a few. The Taiwanese government attracts foreign talent by facilitating the administrative paperwork, with programs such as the Employment Gold Card and the TTA Black Card. 

Tracy Lang, Executive Director of the Education Division, was the closing speaker for Poly-Monde’s visit with TECO. She presented the many opportunities for foreigners to study in Taiwan, such as degree programs, exchange programs and Chinese Language Learning at Mandarin Learning Centers. Scholarships are available, covering up to NT$40,000 (about 1,700 CAD) for post-doctorate programs. such as foreign English teachers and teaching assistants to reach 2030 Bilingual nation, as well as the Yushuan Young Scholars program, in which scholars are appointed as full-time instructors or researchers for at least 5 years.

This concluded the memorable visit with TECO. Poly-Monde was able to gain insight from different perspectives and the knowledge has enlightened us to Taiwan’s future ambitions. 

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan). (2021). Organizations - Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada. Tiré de
  • Statements collected by Poly-Monde during the videoconference on April 16th, 2021