The foreign ministry says that both Taiwan and the Republic of Somaliland have much to gain from strengthening bilateral ties.

The Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared state in the Horn of Africa. Though its independence is not internationally recognized, Somaliland maintains unofficial diplomatic contacts with a variety of nations through a network of representative offices. Taiwan now has an office of its own in the Somaliland, and the country is now set to send a representative in turn to Taiwan.

On Thursday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Joanne Ou said that Taiwan has worked to help Somaliland weather both the COVID-19 pandemic and agricultural devastation caused by locusts.

Ou said that in June, Taiwan donated 150,000 ordinary surgical masks, as well as N95 masks, protective gear, and supplies used in testing for COVID-19. She also said that Taiwan has sent 300 tons of white rice to the country to help it withstand the impact of recent locust swarms.

Ou said that Somaliland has plentiful natural resources that Taiwanese companies could exploit to the benefit of both nations. These include rich fish stocks, as well as oil, natural gas, and gems.