From the Asia Pacific International Conference on Food Safety, Taiwan Promotes National English Proficiency


If Taiwan is to distinguish itself in the international arena, national English proficiency is imperative. In recent years, Taiwan has increasingly emphasized the development of national English proficiency, but increased focus will be required to achieve a national level of English proficiency. We point to the Asia Pacific International Conference on Food Safety, held last year in Taipei, as an example of the type of international event that could be held in Taiwan as a result of an increased focus on English proficiency.

The Third Asia Pacific International Conference on Food Safety took place in Taipei, Taiwan, October 29 through November 1, 2013. The Conference was held at the National Taiwan University Hospital International Convention Center and hosted by the Taiwan Association for Food Protection (TAFP), an affiliate of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

Under the guidance of the Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Executive Yuan, the IAFP invited 66 internationally renowned experts from 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, and others, to come to Taiwan to share presentations on the latest trends in food safety and related research. Over 750 participants attended the meeting, including academics, policy makers, representatives of government agencies, members of the food industry, and other professionals.

The Taiwan Association for Food Protection was pleased to be the host affiliate for the Conference following a rigorous selection process. The honor of hosting the Conference is bestowed after careful evaluation of the potential host affiliate’s English language skills. After much consideration, and with support from other affiliates including South Korea, Australia, and the Chinese Association for Food Protection in North America, Taiwan was granted the hosting duties.

If a rigorous English learning environment can be supported in Taiwan, and English can be included as an official national language, this will improve Taiwan’s future opportunities for international cooperation.