Saturday

Public Diplomacy 2.0: Taiwan's APEC Digital Opportunity Center Initiative

There are different ways in which countries are trying to leverage online media. Taiwan is a great example for creativity and innovation with Web 2.0. It has developed a unilateral initiative called  ADOC (APEC Digital Opportunity Center), that aims to reduce digital divide and promote  e-business among member economies of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC).

The stated objectives of ADOC are:
  • to increase Taiwan's visibility 
  • to strengthen relations with APEC member economies
Taiwan, because of its unique position in international politics, and China's attempts at reunification, is restricted from participating in most international organizations and also to obtain new diplomatic relations. ADOC is an  innovative attempt to by pass all these hurdles and create another opportunity for engagement. 

The idea was mooted in 2003 to enhance IT capabilities of ADOC partner member economies (PMEs), and it has made great progress since it was initiated in 2004. Currently it is present in seven APEC members — Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Thailand — where it has set up 26 ADOC Digital Centers so far. According to the Taiwanese government, 
"The ADOC Program has helped build local ICT capacities and implemented training programs."
The website is good and very informative. Currently ADOC is also organizing a blogger's competition in its website. Its also a good way to integrate Taiwan's ICT capabilities in diplomatic initiatives. In fact, there might be a tremendous opportunity for Indian educational institutes to market online educational programs in some developed economies also like United States, where education is prohibitively expensive for a majority.

Suggestions/Critiques welcome.

-Madhur
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