Taiwan and Somaliland signed an agreement on energy and mineral resources cooperation Monday that Taiwan’s office in Somaliland said provides a legal foundation for joint resource exploration and drilling activities and other related initiatives.
The agreement was signed by Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) in Taipei and Somaliland Energy and Minerals Minister Abdilahi Farah Abdi in Somaliland at different times on Monday, according to a Facebook post by Taiwan’s representative office in Hargeisa.
Taiwan’s representative to Somaliland, Allen Lou (羅震華), witnessed Abdi’s signing of the agreement at a ceremony held at Somaliland’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals, according to the representative office.
The pact is aimed at establishing a solid legal foundation for bilateral energy and mineral resources cooperation, and a task force will be formed to facilitate information sharing, exploration and drilling, capacity building and training, the office said.
“On the road to energy independence, Taiwan and Somaliland will walk side by side,” the office said.
During the ceremony, Abdi thanked Taiwan’s government for its support, saying the agreement covered sectors important to Somaliland’s development.
In December 2021, Taiwan’s CPC Corp. signed a farm-out agreement with U.K.-based Genel Energy to acquire 49 percent of the rights to explore the hydrocarbon resources in the SL10B/13 mining area, and the deal was later approved by the Somaliland government.
Lou said the first exploration well will be drilled in 2023.
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has functioned as a de facto state since then, but it has yet to be recognized diplomatically by any other country in the world.
Taiwan and Somaliland set up representative offices in each other’s capitals in 2020.