Taichung City Government plans to promote International Non-governmental Organization (INGO) in Guangfu Village, Wufeng, hoping to attract large NGOs to establish offices locally and assist domestic NGOs to forge ties with the international community, ultimately turning Taichung into an INGO city. Former AIT Deputy Director and senior official at APEC Robert Wang (Hsiao-min Wang) visited Taichung City Hall on the 16th to discuss the philosophy and goals of INGO with Mayor Chia-lung Lin. He also agreed with Mayor Lin’s conception towards INGO and pledged to facilitate the process while he is in the US.
Robert Wang (Hsiao-min Wang) was formerly a senior U.S. official for APEC in 2013, and before that he was the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, as well as the Deputy Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) from 2006 to 2009, thus he is well versed in cross-strait relations. Robert Wang visited Taichung City on the 16th, expressing a high degree of interest in Taichung City’s INGO program. Besides gaining more information about INGO, he also revealed how he can offer assistance from the stateside.
According to Mayor Lin, Taichung City is proactively promoting INGO; with support from the central government, Guangfu Village, Wufeng will be used as the base for INGO exchange and collaboration. The government will attract large NGOs to establish offices locally and assist domestic NGOs to forge ties with the international community in support of the Southbound Policy in Asia, thereby transforming Taichung into an INGO city. Also highly interested in the program, are CoNGO President Cyril Ritchie and Liberal International President Dr. Juli Minoves, who visited Taichung City Government to explore future collaboration potentials.
Mayor commented that the city government will establish an INGO advisory group, hoping Robert Wang will be able to exert his influence in the US to offer assistance by referring suitable advisory groups or related agencies to the city government. The aim is to guide Taichung City Government to successfully operate the INGO center and improve its international visibility, in turn introducing Taiwan and Taichung to the world.
Robert Wang indicated that the Taiwanese society is full of vitality, and the local NGOs play a vital part in the international society, embodying the country’s soft power, thus they should demonstrate their self-confidence to the international society.
He too praised Mayor Lin’s conception towards INGO, because it helps Taiwan to be seen globally and exert influence on nearby nations. Through various training and learning courses, a steady, long-term interactive relationship can be forged, transforming the region into an important cluster for Asian NGO workers.
Robert Wang also urges Taichung City Government to be fully prepared so that international NGOs can see the blueprint of Taichung’s INGO center, long-term plan and the determination of decision makers. He is happy to lend his assistance and introduce Taiwan and Taichung’s INGO center to more international organizations. Furthermore, he will facilitated collaborations between US and Southeast Asian countries in areas such as medicine, health, humanitarian aid and environmental protection etc. In the future, trainings can also be conducted at the Taichung INGO center.