Taiwan and Somaliland discuss resource development in Horn of Africa

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aiwanese officials representing the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) met with counterparts in Somaliland at the Ministry of Energy and Materials (MoEM) in Hargeisa to discuss joint projects relating to the production of oil, gas, and minerals on Wednesday (March 15).

The first meeting of the Joint Energy and Minerals Resources Cooperation Working Group was a success, according to a MOEA press release. The two countries reached a consensus on future cooperation to develop Somaliland’s oil, gas, and mineral production industries.

The MOEA and MoEM intend to jointly organize training programs and hold policy forums related to resource exploration, exploitation, and infrastructure development, according to the press release.

Taiwan and Somaliland established ties in 2020, with representative offices mutually established in Hargeiasa and Taipei. The joint working group on energy and mineral resources was established under a memorandum of understanding signed last year.

According to the MOEA press release, “Taiwan shared its experience on exploration and production in African countries as a reference for Somaliland in developing its domestic oil and gas sector. The two sides also agreed to jointly map out capacity building training programs on oil, gas, and mineral exploration and exploitation to cultivate Somaliland’s skilled talent.”

The press release also noted Somaliland’s “abundant untapped hydrocarbon reserves” and its advantageous geographic position on trade lines linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The Taiwanese delegation visiting Somaliland this month is led by Eugene Y.J. Chen, the director general of the MOEA’s Department of International Cooperation. The group arrived in Somaliland on March 13 and will leave on March 18.

In addition to the MoEM, the delegation also visited Somaliland’s Ministry of Trade and Tourism and the Ministry of Investment and Industrial Development. The meetings will hopefully foster increased bilateral cooperation and business opportunities moving forward.