50th Anniversary of Taiwan-Germany Agricultural Cooperation Leads to Fruitful Results


  The Taiwanese-German Association for Economic and Social Research (the Association) was established in 1967 as a platform for exchanges of diplomatic and agricultural research between Taiwan and Germany. With its 50th anniversary in 2017, the Association has made considerable contributions to agricultural cooperation, personnel training and trade promotion for both nations over the years. This year, in addition to holding celebrations, the Association also arranged an international symposium on agricultural circular economy. Circular economy is a new model that consists with the concept of sustainable development. Supporting by the new technology and business model, the recycling of resources has become a viable approach. Through the design of recoverability and reproducibility, as well as the establishment of resource recycling circle and economic system, the future development and thinking mode of circular economy would guide Taiwan’s agriculture into a new area.

Taiwanese-German Association composed of well-known experts and scholars as its founding members

  In 1967, the Association was established in Bonn, former capital of West Germany, and registered as a nonprofit association in accordance with German law. As a bilateral organization, the Association is jointly chaired by a German professor and the Minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA)in Taiwan. Both sides take turns holding exchange activities every year.

  The Association is of certain representation and importance. When it was founded, most founding members from Germany consisted of well-known scholars in the field of agricultural economics in Bonn University. Due to political and economic situation at that time, Taiwanese members were all official representatives, including Hsiao Cheng (former Chairman of Land Bank of Taiwan), Tao Sheng-yang (former Secretary-General of International Cooperation and Development Fund), and Jiang Yan-shi (former Secretary-General of Executive Yuan). They were all reputable heavyweight experts then.

50-year extensive cooperation linked to international trends and built rich human network

  The COA said that while focuses of the cooperation between Taiwan and Germany have gradually shifted over time, international trends and needs of policy are never left behind. During the 1960s and 1970s, the research was targeted on the competitiveness of Taiwan’s major exporting agricultural products in the European market. After the 1990s, it gradually shifted to the manufacturing environment and rural development, with the emphasis on multifunctional agriculture. The research themes include land use and planning, rural rejuvenation, consumer protection, climate change, food security, impact of trade liberalization, direct payment, and circular economy. Moreover, in-depth tours and field visits are arranged.

  Many civil groups also take advantage of the abundant social network accumulated by the Taiwanese-German Association over years, such as assisting Taiwanese companies to participate in German exhibitions, and inviting German experts and media to visit Taiwan. The soft power from the private sector helps considerably the international promotion of Taiwan’s agricultural technology and culture. Therefore, the mutual cooperation initiated by the Association is worthy of recognition and continuous development.

Promotion of rural rejuvenation and rural village competition programs

  The COA launched the bottom-up mechanism “Rural Rejuvenation Program” in 2010 and the first rural village competition program “GO GO GOLD” this year. which are best examples of referring to German experience as well as adjusting policy implementation according to Taiwan’s own conditions. After 1940s, the German residents spontaneously initiated rebuilding activities to beautify their homeland. The German Federal Ministry of Agriculture further planned a national rural village competition, for the purpose of making the countryside more beautiful and prosperous.

  Learning from German experience, the COA has launched relevant rural development policies in order to arouse Taiwanese residents’ honor, drive, spontaneity and devotion to the creation of new rural villages.

Promotion of Taiwan’s circular agriculture

  To highlight this year as the 50th anniversary of the  Association, the COA compiled commemorative documents for those involved to look back on old days. The COA also held a symposium on agricultural circular economy, where German experts shared Germany’s and European Union’s experiences in carrying out their circular agriculture. Likewise, Taiwanese representatives introduced the nation’s current technology and cases of implementing its agricultural circular economy, including promotion of bio-carbon application, research on technology of animal husbandry waste, and recycling of agricultural waste. All participants, moreover, exchanged professional opinions with one another, and the fruitful results derived from the symposium would help Taiwan facilitate its own technology and policies on agricultural circulation economy.

  Taiwan and Germany have been working together for 50 years, which sets a good example of international cooperation in the field of agricultural economy and social exchange. Both nations would surely continue the mutually beneficial cooperation. At present, the European Union and Germany have both adopted the strategy of circular economy as the goal of the national economic development. For Taiwan, a country with relatively limited natural resources, it is necessary to change the linear economic model in manufacturing, production and disposal. Only in this way would Taiwan’s agriculture march towards sustainable development.

The 50th Anniversary of Taiwan-Germany Agricultural Cooperation and International Symposium on Agricultural Circulation Economy.