The 1st Taiwan-Somaliland Joint Working Group on Energy and Mineral Resources Cooperation Meeting was held on March 15, 2023, at the Somaliland Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MoEM).
The event was co-chaired by Mr. Eugene Y.J. Chen, director general of the Department of International Cooperation under Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), and Mr. Fowsi Mohamed Farah, director general at the MoEM.
The two sides reached various consensuses during the meeting, including with respect to holding training programs on oil, gas and minerals exploration and exploitation, sharing Taiwan's oil exploration and production experience in Africa, conducting energy and mineral resources policy exchanges, and promoting closer bilateral cooperation in these sectors.
In 2020, Taiwan and Somaliland mutually established representative offices in each other's country. The two sides then signed an Agreement on Energy and Mineral Resources Cooperation in 2022 under which the joint working was established.
Director General Chen led a Taiwan delegation to Somaliland from March 13 to 18 for the holding of the first working group meeting. The delegation also visited the Ministry of Trade and Tourism and Ministry of Investment and Industrial Development to gain a better understanding of Somaliland's investment environment and related incentives and then share the information with Taiwan enterprises so as to promote potential bilateral business and investment opportunities and partnerships in a range of sectors.
The initial working group meeting was productive and fruitful. Taiwan shared its experience on exploration and production in African countries as a reference for Somaliland in developing its domestic oil and gas sector. The two sides also agreed to jointly map out capacity building training programs on oil, gas and minerals exploration and exploitation to cultivate Somaliland skilled talent. They also engaged in exchanges on energy and mineral industry policy and international cooperation to boost bilateral commercial interactions and opportunities.
Located at the Horn of Africa, Somaliland possesses abundant untapped hydrocarbon reserves and enjoys a geographically advantageous position straddling important shipping lanes linking the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. Somaliland has strong economic development potential and shares many complementarities with Taiwan that present significant opportunities for mutually beneficial commercial engagement and partnerships between the two sides.