Over the past year, Taiwan has received increased international attention due to its stellar response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei has used the attention to argue its case for greater inclusion and to show that, despite not being a UN member, it has much to contribute to the world.
As everyone begins to think about a world after COVID-19, the government should channel this momentum into one element of its international cooperation: the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF).
Established in 2015, the framework was meant to demonstrate to a broader audience Taiwan’s ability to contribute on the global stage. As the nation is largely excluded from international organizations, Taiwan and its companies are often not able to share their expertise.
Therefore, the US government partnered with Taipei to bridge this gap by hosting workshops on public health, law enforcement cooperation, women’s empowerment, energy efficiency, e-commerce, cybersecurity, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), and media literacy.
To date, the GCTF has conducted 30 workshops, with 1,600 officials and experts from 68 countries attending. In 2019, Tokyo became an official partner under the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. Other countries, such as Australia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Sweden and, most recently, the UK, have joined as one-off cohosts of workshops.
Looking at the development and trajectory of the GCTF since its inception more than five years ago helps to show the impact that Taiwan and Taiwanese entities can have — if given the opportunity. The GCTF is a way for Taiwan to showcase that even though it might not get a seat on many international organizations, it can still help other countries seeking expertise.