A delegation from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) will conclude a 6-day visit to Taiwan today.
Taiwan became the first non-Central American member of CABEI in 1992 and is—at present—the largest shareholder in the bank. The delegation celebrated both the 30th anniversary of Taiwan’s membership and the one-year anniversary of CABEI’s Taiwan office, the only one outside the bank’s home region. During the trip, the delegation and Taiwanese officials discussed trade and investment opportunities. They also signed an agreement on Taiwanese assistance to women’s employment in the organization’s Central American member states as a measure to boost post-COVID economic recovery.
Given Taiwan’s importance to CABEI, the Asian economy is expected to remain in economic cooperation with Central American states, especially its diplomatic allies. Despite increasing Chinese pressure, Taiwan has maintained long-term diplomatic relationships with Central America and the Caribbean with American support. Presently, half of Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies are from this area. However, Taiwan’s economic engagement with Central America faces fierce competition from China and could be disrupted should Beijing manage to turn the diplomatic recognition of Taiwan’s remaining allies in the region from Taipei to Beijing.
Jeremy Ma is a research analyst with Foreign Brief focusing on East Asian geopolitics. He specializes in regional security and social issues. His research interests include China’s foreign relations, cross-Strait relations, and territorial and maritime disputes in East Asia.