Taipei-- The government-sponsored Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) on Friday approved an appointment of former Foreign Minister James Huang (???) to serve as chairman of the trade promotion group, effective immediately.
The TAITRA held a special board meeting Friday to approve the appointment, which was announced by the Executive Yuan last week.
Huang will succeed Francis Liang (???), who took over as Taiwan's representative to Singapore in December.
Huang used to head the New Southbound Policy Office under the Presidential Office. The TAITRA said that led by Huang, the group will push for trade promotion efforts under the policy to promote more trade between Taiwan and South Asia as well as Southeast Asian countries.
The New Southbound Policy is an initiative pushed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government to develop closer ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and India.
The DPP government, which took office in May 2016, is striving to diversify investment and trade under the new policy at a time when there are concerns Taiwan has become too economically dependent on China.
In the board meeting, the TAITRA also approved the nominations of Kuo Lin-wu (???), head of U.S.-based Raytheon International Inc.'s division in the Asia Pacific region, and former legislator Chuang Suo-hang (???) from the DPP to become the trade group's vice chairmen.
Meanwhile, the board gave the greenlight to promote the TAITRA's vice executive president Walter Yeh (???) to become its executive president, the trade group said.