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Somaliland hosts talks on energy and minerals

By Liu Tzu-hsuan

Taiwan and Somaliland on Wednesday held a joint working group to seek cooperation in oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation.

The first meeting of the Taiwan-Somaliland Joint Working Group on Energy and Mineral Resources Cooperation was held at the Somaliland Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland said in a statement.

Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) signed the Energy and Mineral Resources Cooperation Agreement with Somaliland Minister of Energy and Minerals Abdilahi Farah Abdi in May last year to deepen cooperation in the energy and mineral sectors.

Taiwanese and Somaliland officials attend a meeting on oil, gas and mineral exploration in Somaliland on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan

The Ministry of Economic Affairs sent a delegation to attend the meeting during a visit to Somaliland from Monday to today, the office said.

The delegation also visited the country’s Ministry of Trade and Tourism, Ministry of Investment and Industrial Development, and Ministry of Energy and Minerals, it added.

During the meeting, the two sides explored ways to promote closer bilateral cooperation in the sectors and exchanged ideas on energy and mineral resources policies, it said.

With its experience in oil exploration and production in Africa, Taiwan can share its expertise through training programs, it said.

Overseas Petroleum and Investment Corp, a unit owned by CPC Corp, Taiwan and UK-based Genel Energy PLC, contracted two out of the 85 potential oil fields in Somaliland, Representative to Somaliland Allen Lou (羅震華) said.

The project can serve as an example of oil exploitation in the region and “bring in more foreign investors,” he said, adding that investor confidence would be boosted by Somaliland’s reassurance that its government controls the land resources.

“Taiwan is a quality cooperation partner for like-minded democratic partners” in oil exploitation, he said.

Farah Abdi thanked Department of International Cooperation Director-General Chen Yung-jang (陳永章) for leading the delegation, and said he hopes to promote the exchange of experience and knowledge in the energy and mineral sectors.

The meeting would also help build regulations around exploration, exploitation, training and data, he added.

Source: TAIPEI TIMES

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