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Culture is the modern currency of choice in the international arena, best-suited for deepening ties and initiating dialogue between governments, establishments, and societies. Free from language barriers, culture is Taiwan's best deterrent against diplomatic isolation.

The Ministry of Culture currently operates 17 overseas offices — namely in the cities of Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC in North America; Berlin, London, Madrid, Moscow, and Paris in Europe; and Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Sydney, and Tokyo in Asia.

These offices are tasked with distributing resources from Taiwan, forging regional partnerships, and networking with key cultural and academic institutions. As proverbial beachheads on foreign shores, they also help connect Taiwan's cultural professionals with their overseas counterparts, identify new markets for Taiwanese creative goods, and enhance the reach of the nation's soft powers.

The Ministry is also bolstering Taiwan's international presence by inviting foreign organizations to work on collaborative projects or open a branch office in Taiwan, networking with cultural professionals and policymakers, hosting delegations from foreign governments and independent agencies, and organizing cultural forums and technical exchanges. This steady stream of exchanges and joint programs will help Taiwan become an ever-more important member of global networks and a key player in shaping the cultural development of the Asia Pacific.

Key Initiatives

1. Local Works for Global Audiences

Using cultural and industry-specific trends gathered from worldwide, the Ministry formulates its overseas programs in accordance to local customs and interests. For example, the Taiwan Brand Campaign and Taiwan Classics Tour help promote Taiwanese aesthetics and stories by showcasing representative artists and their works through themed exhibitions and performance tours. Helpful introductory or marketing materials are also translated into foreign languages and provided to local and overseas partners.

2. International Partnerships for Regional Initiatives

The Ministry is helping Taiwan take its first steps towards becoming a global cultural hub by encouraging international arts and cultural organizations such as the nonprofit Living Arts International to set up a Taipei branch office. Other ongoing initiatives organized with foreign institutions and representative offices in Taiwan include the annual European Forum, Taiwan-France Atelier, Asia-Pacific Forum, and the Taiwan-US Scholarship Exchange Program for Professionals in Art Administration with the US State Department's Fulbright Program.

3. Advisory Committee for Taiwan and Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asia Advisory Committee was launched in 2015 to foster closer, longstanding cultural ties with neighboring nations through people-oriented exchanges. Leading professionals working with culture and the arts in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia are invited to meet and hold dialogue on subjects pertinent to the regional development of culture. From strengthening education and applying technology to culture to surveying infrastructure projects, such discussions have deepened partnerships and yielded pragmatic dividends.

Global Exchanges

1. Youth Cultural Gardeners

As part of Taiwan's New Southbound Policy for enhancing regional participation through cultural ties, the Ministry of Culture recruits and trains youth delegates to boost Taiwan's exchanges with Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. The "Youth Cultural Gardeners" program places particular emphasis on community-driven groups and campus organizations for bridging nations on a grassroots level and identifying fresh areas for multicultural collaboration.

2. Cultural Exchanges with Southeast Asia

To enhance Taiwan's understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asian cultures, histories, and social development, "Grants for Cultural Exchanges & Collaborative Projects with Personnel from Southeast Asia" help Taiwanese art and cultural groups host and collaborate with their Southeast Asian counterparts. Funding is also provided for the international promotion of the end results of collaborative projects conducted in Taiwan.

3. Cultural Exchanges with West, South Asia

"Grants for Cultural Exchanges and Collaborative Projects between (the Regions of) West Asia and South Asia with Taiwan" supports Taiwan's legal entities, public and private educational institutions, and civic groups in pursuing bilateral exchanges with their foreign counterparts in West and South Asia.

4. Cultural Exchanges with Latin America

"Grants for Cultural Exchanges and Collaborative Projects with Personnel between Taiwan and Latin America" offers bilateral opportunities for candidates from 33 eligible Latin American and Caribbean nations. The collaborative portion of the project comes from having a Taiwan-based partner.

5. Spotlight Taiwan

To cultivate a greater interest in and appreciation of Taiwan's culture worldwide, public and private resources are being brought together to hold an enriching array of Taiwan-themed activities abroad. Leading universities and mainstream art, cultural, academic, and research organizations seeking to establish long-term, substantive cooperative relationships are welcomed to apply for the "Spotlight Taiwan" project at the Ministry of Culture's overseas branches and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' representative offices.