During a visit to Taiwan, Somaliland promotes its ‘vast’ oil and gas potential.

Taiwan-(Berberanews)-On a high-profile visit to Taiwan, Somaliland’s foreign minister informed Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen that undeveloped oil and gas reserves have “vast” economic potential.

Somaliland seceded from Somalia in 1991, although its independence has yet to be recognized internationally. While Somalia has been embroiled in a three-decade civil war, the region has remained mainly quiet.

In 2020, Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory and is similarly diplomatically isolated, and Somaliland established representative offices in each other’s capitals.

Somaliland Foreign Minister Esse Kayd said they welcomed “giant” Taiwanese enterprises to invest and trade with them at a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

“In the mining industry, Somaliland has enormous potential for international investment, including hydrocarbon resources, oil and gas, and coal, all of which are easily exploitable,” he stated.

“Rather than relying on handouts, we encourage people to maximize their trade and investment potential.”

According to Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, his group, which includes the finance minister, will meet with executives from state-owned oil company CPC.

Taiwan and Somaliland, according to Tsai, are democratic partners that share similar values.

“For Taiwan’s Africa project, Somaliland is now a key site in East Africa,” she noted.

China has effectively forced Taiwan out of Africa diplomatically in recent years, with only eSwatini maintaining full diplomatic connections with the island.

As it works to assert its sovereignty claims, China has increased its pressure on countries not to engage with Taiwan.

Kayd claimed Somaliland was a sovereign republic with a right to international connections, an apparent dig at China’s opposition to their Taiwan friendship.

Last month, Taiwan gave 150,000 doses of its domestically made Medigen COVID-19 vaccine to Somaliland, demonstrating its commitment to the country’s growth.