Taiwan has major plans to help Palau during the COVID-19 response. During the general meeting held on July 14th between Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador Wallace Chow from the Embassy of Taiwan, and over 30 businesses in Palau, they discussed how else can Taiwan aide Palau.
Taiwan has helped Palau by providing much needed medical equipment and expertise during the COVID-19 response. Embassy of Taiwan also has helped by making a series of donations to different agencies in Palau.
This time, Taiwan plans to help boost Palau’s economy. Findings suggest that Palau’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) will drop to 23% in 2020 and 2021 if Palau’s borders remain closed.
Taiwan ensures that they will help provide financing for the infrastructure projects in Palau such as construction of interstate roads and stimulus projects so that construction companies do not have to lay off its employee’s.
Taiwan is also considering the suspension of Palau’s debt payment so that the Palau government can relocate its resources where it is needed.
Discussions of the Taiwan-Palau travel bubble were also talked about during the general meeting. Taiwan acknowledges that tourism is a major contributor to Palau’s economy so they are eyeing a tourism bounce back.
Additionally, Taiwan’s EVA airlines which is the 4th best international airline in the world announced that they will assist with the Taiwan-Palau flights.
However, Ambassador Chow mentioned in the meeting that in order for the travel bubble to work, they must have the capability to contain COVID-19, political will and confidence in the society, knowledge of the global situation around COVID-19, and ways to treat COVID. He also believed that repatriating the remaining citizens should come first before they negotiate about the travel bubble.
Palau opening its borders to Taiwan remain uncertain, but something that everyone agreed on in the meeting is the health and safety of the people.
Finally, once the borders open again, The Embassy of Taiwan in collaboration with Palau Visitors Authority and Palau Track and Field Association are planning the Palau International Marathon to attract more tourists to come to Palau.