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Culture minister hopes for more NZ exchanges after pact

Culture minister hopes for more New Zealand exchanges after pact

Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai expressed hope on August 14 for more cultural cooperation and exchanges with New Zealand, with which Taiwan inked a trade pact last month.

"We would like to divert more of our attention from Europe and the United States to the south, to Australia and New Zealand," Lung said at a press conference to announce New Zealand as the theme country for the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition.

There are many opportunities for cooperation between Taiwan and New Zealand, such as in the areas of literature, indigenous culture and film and television production, Lung said.

She mentioned the epic Taiwanese film "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," about Taiwanese aboriginal resistance against Japanese rule, as an example of a type of film that the two countries could work together on in the future.

New Zealand has a rich aboriginal culture and top-notch talent in film post-production and special effects, she noted.

Lung also expressed hope for more literary and writer exchanges between Taiwan and New Zealand to facilitate better understanding between people from the two countries.

The economic cooperation agreement signed between the two countries July 10 covers a wide range of topics, including labor, the environment, open skies air links, film and TV co-production and cooperation between the two sides' indigenous peoples.

New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei Director Stephen Payton, meanwhile, said that although his country and Taiwan have signed the trade pact and a venture capital cooperation agreement recently, the two countries do not know each other as well as they should.

Therefore, he said, he is "delighted" that New Zealand can share its literature and stories with the Taiwanese through the Taipei book fair.

New Zealand author Lloyd Jones, who also attended the press conference, said he believes that New Zealand writers, which "come in all shapes and sizes," will be thrilled at the prospect of delivering excitement and adventure at the Taipei book fair.

The theme country pavilion is scheduled to exhibit publications on topics such as literature, art, history, fashion, design and health that showcase the culture of New Zealand, the Ministry of Culture said.

The Taipei International Book Exhibition is one of Asia's largest book fairs. It attracted 508,000 visitors this year.

ENDS

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