IFP MPs head to Taiwan to forge closer diplomatic and business ties
Six Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MPs were heading to Taiwan on Tuesday in a bid to strengthen relations with the country.
The party members said they had been invited on the visit.
"The delegation will meet government and business leaders to interact on country best practice and share ideas for economic growth‚ development and education development. On the brink of the fourth industrial revolution the delegation will also interact with the captains of the technological‚ scientific and innovative sectors‚" said IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
"The delegation will amongst others meet with the president of the legislative yuan (speaker of parliament)‚ vice-minister of foreign affairs and the deputy minister of transportation and communications‚" he added.
Hlengwa said SA had a lot to learn from Taiwan.
"It is an economic powerhouse‚ despite having few natural resources‚ and it enjoys a stable democracy. The IFP has great respect for what they have achieved," he added.
This was the second time that an IFP delegation had been invited to the Taiwan since 2016.
"SA and Taiwan have strong trade relations albeit the diplomatically regressive decision by the [former president Nelson] Mandela administration to downgrade diplomatic relations with Taiwan to a liaison office‚" said Hlengwa.
SA’s exports to Taiwan include iron and ore‚ steel‚ machinery and electrical machinery‚ aluminium‚ motor vehicles‚ vehicle parts‚ coal‚ wood and wood pulp‚ copper‚ precious stones‚ gold‚ granite‚ ores‚ organic chemicals‚ wool‚ tobacco‚ corn starch‚ preserved food and fruit juices.
Taiwan’s main exports to SA include machinery‚ bicycles‚ motorbike and auto parts‚ plastic resin and articles‚ yarn and fabric‚ iron and steel products‚ toys‚ sports equipment‚ hand tools‚ rubber goods and optical goods.