Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou made a surprise refueling stop in Mumbai, India, earlier this month while en route to Africa. In an email interview, Fang Tien-sze, an assistant professor at National Tsing-hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and Jabin T. Jacob, assistant director of the Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi, India, discussed India-Taiwan relations.
WPR: How have India-Taiwan relations evolved over the past 10 years?
Fang Tien-sze and Jabin T. Jacob: India-Taiwan relations have improved gradually in many areas over the past few years. Bilateral trade has expanded from $1.1 billion in 2001 to $7.6 billion in 2011. The two sides signed a bilateral investment and protection agreement in 2002 and agreements on double taxation and customs assistance in July 2011. India and Taiwan have also commissioned think tanks to jointly study the feasibility and likely results of a free trade agreement. In the field of education, in March 2010 the two sides decided to recognize each other’s academic degrees and certificates in higher education, facilitating student mobility for advanced studies and job purposes. Earlier, in 2007, the two signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, creating a joint committee that meets every year to formulate cooperation programs and activities.