At the ANMC21 conference in late November, the Taipei City government reported on the activities undertaken by last year’s Asian Art and Cultural Festival held in Taipei. Taipei City also announced its new project involving Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The joint venture project aims to build a wireless broadband city and e-government.
This includes utilizing computers, information technology, e-living environment, paperless conference, and e-governance. Residents will be able to enjoy convenient, mobile living, making Taipei a truly modern city.
During the policy dialog, Wang Lesheng, international affairs committee executive director of Taipei, introduced the New Immigrant Policy of the city. Taipei annually receives a lot of foreign spouses. As of October 2007, Taipei received a total of 30,000 foreign spouses.
Concerned about the cultural, language, living, and education problems of these new immigrants, the city government launched a series of measures to help integrate them into the city, which includes setting up a new immigrant organization, offering language training, and ceasing references to them as foreign brides. “What we are doing is to help these new immigrants integrate into our community, integrate into our life, making them a part of Taipei,” Wang said.
Wang showed his enthusiasm and sincerity in talking about the cooperation between Manila and Taipei. He said Taipei and Manila are sister cities and this good relationship and interaction has existed for a long time. Mutual visits made by high officials happen quite often, he pointed out.
Currently, Taipei and Manila have done well in educational and cultural cooperation. Also, seeing that Manila lacks fire-fighting equipment and medical emergency facilities, sister city Taipei helped in this area.
Connectivity Spells Convenience
The Taipei City government has invested a lot in wireless broadband and networking technologies, and its IT industry even won first place at the 2006 World IT Forum Awards. Since ICT is used for city governance, constituents only need to fill in data via the Internet and send it to the concerned government agency. Then, they receive the reply to their request within a few hours, making life a whole lot easier.
Taipei is willing to help sister city Manila put the same technology in place. Wang said, “If our sister city needs help, we could share experience and provide manpower. With today’s globalization, it isn’t only us who should improve; everybody should improve too.”
Commenting on ANMC21, Wang said, “The Chinese have a saying: The stones of the hills may be used to polish gems. [Meaning, advice from others helps ones defects—Ed.] Taipei wants to learn from the experience of others and, at the same time, share its own experience to help all member cities.”
print ed: 01/08