The Republic of China (Taiwan) Trade Office in Nigeria has celebrated the traditional Lunar New Year, calling for improved economic and trade relations with Nigeria.
The Representative of the Taipei Trade Office in Nigeria, Ambassador Andy Yih-Ping Liu, stated this at the Lunar New Year in Lagos.
“As part of the traditional Asian society, not just Chinese; Japanese, Korean, even the South-East Asia have their traditional way to observe seasonal changes from agriculture. All the people came from agriculture before developing into the modern world. So, from agriculture, Asian societies observed how the moon moved around the whole year. Lunar means the moon. When the Roman Empire came around, they started to observe the Sun more, and they came up with the current calendar. The Lunar calendar and the current calendar have some gaps.
“The Lunar New Year means that we are part of Asian society. So, every year we have the first of January as the New Year, and we have late January or early February as the traditional Lunar New Year,” explained Amb. Liu.
Speaking with selected journalists at the ceremony, Amb. Liu said Taiwan had contributed to the economic growth of Nigeria since the 1990s and that there was a need for better understanding between the two nations to improve relations.
“All the ideas started in the 1990s when your former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, wanted to invite the only country in the world that has the experience to run a successful Export Processing Zones in Asia. Now, you have booming EPZs in Nigeria.”
He said the Taiwanese telecom company constructed the fibre optic network for the telecom industry at the Calabar Export Processing Zone and provided technical support.
Amb. Liu said although Taiwan did not have many natural resources, it had relied on advancement in education and became a major manufacturer and supplier of microchips for the world’s telecom, electric and computer industries.
“We have no natural resources. The only natural resource we have is our brainpower.”
He said Taipei Trade Office participated, for the first time in September 2021, in the Abuja Halal Food Expo of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry and looked forward to this year’s edition of the food fair on permissible Islamic food.
“Taiwan is a religiously free country. We have six major mosques in Taiwan, about half a million Muslims. Of the half a million Muslims, three hundred thousand are from Indonesia. We have had a lot of migrant workers in homes since the 2000s helping the families when the children are away to work. So, our government realized that it has to take care of these people and then businesses key into the halal food industry.”
The Taiwanese Trade Representative praised the positive impact of Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, saying that it had moved from a humble beginning to one of the largest in the world.
On his stay in Nigeria, Amb. Liu said he was part of the earliest Taiwan’s trade delegation in Nigeria in the 1990s before he left in 1998 and recently deployed back to the country.
He said he enjoyed Nigerian delicacies, especially the fish pepper soup, pounded yam and palm wine.