At a press conference announcing New Zealand as the theme country for the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition, Taiwan's Ministry of Culture disclosed its plans for closer cultural cooperation and exchanges with New Zealand.
'We would like to divert more of our attention from Europe and the United States to the south, to Australia and New Zealand,' Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai stated in the Aug. 14 press conference.
There are many opportunities for cooperation between Taiwan and New Zealand, such as in the areas of literature, indigenous cultures and film and television production, Lung pointed out.
She cited the Taiwanese epic 'Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale,' which reenacted Taiwanese aboriginal resistance against Japanese rule, as an example of a type of film that the two countries could work together on in the future.
New Zealand has a rich aboriginal culture and top-notch talent in film post-production and cinematic special effects, she noted, adding that co-production in film and television is included in a free trade pact signed last month between the two nations.
The Taiwan-New Zealand economic cooperation agreement signed on July 10 covers a wide range of topics, including labor, the environment, open skies air links, film and TV co-production and cooperation between indigenous groups.
Stephen Payton, the director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, said that although his country and Taiwan have just signed a trade pact and a venture capital cooperation agreement, the two countries do not know each other as well as they should.
Therefore, he is 'delighted' that New Zealand can share its literature and stories with Taiwanese consumers through the Taipei book fair.
New Zealand author Lloyd Jones, who also attended the press conference, said he believes that New Zealand writers, who 'come in all shapes and sizes,' will be thrilled at the prospect of being featured prominently at the Taipei book fair.
The theme country pavilion at the Taipei International Book Exhibition, which is one of Asia's largest book fairs, will display New Zealand publications on topics such as literature, art, history, fashion, design and health in 2015.
Lung also expressed hope for more literary and artistic exchanges between Taiwan and New Zealand to facilitate better understanding between people from the two countries.
Pictured from left to right are Stephen Payton, the director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, and Lung Ying-tai, the head of Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.
Pictured from left to right are: New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (NZCIO) Deputy Director Serena Chui, NZCIO Director Stephen Payton, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai, New Zealand author Lloyd Jones and Taipei Book Fair Foundation Chairwoman Doris Wang.