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The National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) has always been known for its outstanding academic achievements in science and engineering in Taiwan. The university has long played a key industrial research role in Southern Taiwan, and has, in recent years, significantly improved its research capabilities in the social sciences. NSYSU is the first institution of higher education in Southern Taiwan to establish and develop the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS). The Center provides a platform for academic research, industry cooperation, educational networking, and career advice for the young talents in Taiwan and in Southeast Asian countries.  The priority of the CSEAS is the development of research-related links and the opening of people-to-people communication channels between Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

The geographic location of NSYSU campus provides an excellent environment for people-to-people connectivity among professionals in Southern Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries. Kaohsiung City is a core development hub of Southern Taiwan, and holds several advantages as Taiwan’s new gateway to the South.  First, the geographical proximity of Kaohsiung to Southeast Asia and the tropical climate in Southern Taiwan have inclined research professionals in Kaohsiung to develop technologies and methodologies that are easily adaptable in the Southeast Asian environment.  Second, Kaohsiung is a center for environmentally-friendly development, particularly in agro-industrial design, green energy, and production systems.  Third, Kaohsiung is a centrally-planned city with significant potential for growth, particularly in reference to Industry 4.0 development agenda.  The exchange of technology, skills and talents between Kaohsiung and Southeast Asia is likely to have a significant impact on the entire Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to promoting academic and economic links, the CSEAS hopes to promote greater social and cultural connectivity between Taiwan and with the Southeast Asian countries.  The people of Taiwan hope to benefit from increased opportunities to participate more actively in the ASEAN Community.  The CSEAS also supports the ‘city-to-city’ diplomacy of Kaohsiung with Southeast Asian cities.  Through this initiative, the Kaohsiung government hopes to create a hub of connectivity for business, education and culture with the Southeast Asian region.