The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Philippines, separated by the Batanes and Luzon Strait, are two neighboring countries sharing geographic proximity and traditional friendship. Both countries also share similarities in freedom and democracy. Taiwan and the Philippines have long been maintaining close and substantive relations.
Taiwan-Philippines bilateral trade volume reached US$11.60 billion in 2014. Taiwan is the Philippine’s 6th largest destination of export and 9th largest trading partner. In 2014, the Philippines is the 11th largest trading partner of Taiwan. Meanwhile, Taiwan is also the 7th largest foreign investor in the Philippines for in 2014. There are over 6000 Taiwanese businessman operating nearly 600 companies in the Philippines.
Taiwan is expanding its substantive ties with the Philippines. Since March 2015, Taiwan and the Philippines have successfully amended the 2009 Air Service Agreement increasing the passenger seats from 5, 400 per week to 20, 000 per week in 2015, 25, 000 per week in 2016 and 30, 000 per week in 2017 between Taipei and Manila alone, not including Taiwan’s other direct chartered flights to Boracay, Cebu and Palawan etc. The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system, (on-line visa) has also been introduced by MECO for Taiwanese nationals since July 1st, 2015 to simplify the travel and short visits to the Philippines..
On tourism, Taiwan is the 7th largest tourist source for the Philippines. In 2014, during January-July, there are 104, 233 Taiwanese visitors in the Philippines. The number of Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines has increased to 25.91 % during January-July 2014, as compared with the same period last year.
As to OFW’s, currently, there are 120, 000 Filipino workers in Taiwan. They have been enjoying the same minimum wage and national health insurance benefits as Taiwanese nationals. MECO and TECO has recently set up an International Direct E-employment System (IDES) to do away with brokers.
The air-links between Taipei/Kaohsiung and Manila are daily operated by China Airlines, Eva Air, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific Air.
The mutual interactions and exchanges on other areas like culture, education, agriculture and aquaculture are vibrant.