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Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan

Government transparency is considered something of a Scandinavian specialty. And Taiwan?

After having ranked 36th in 2013 and 11th last year, the Asian island nation has shot to the top of this year's Global Open Data Index, the China Times reports. It is the first time a non-European country has topped the annual ranking from Open Knowledge International, a UK-based global non-profit foundation promoting free information sharing.

The annual index measures the openness of governments in providing key information for its citizens and other stakeholders. Among the 122 countries measured, Taiwan finished first in nine indicators appraising 13 key categories, including governmental budget, national statistics, legislation, government procurement, election results, national maps, pollutant emissions, company registry and health performance.

Taiwan is also the first non-European country to even rank among the top three of this global index. It was followed this year by the United Kingdom, Denmark, Colombia, Finland, Australia, Uruguay, the United States, the Netherlands and Norway.

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In Taipei, Taiwan — Photo: carpool

The next highest ranked Asian countries are India (19th), South Korea (23rd) and Singapore (25th).

Taiwan's performance can be credited to government policy, to the cooperation of industries and to civil society, said Vice Premier Chang San-cheng.

Open Knowledge International did caution, though, that "significant progress is still to be made" as Taiwan's overall score reveals that its data is only 78% open. Crucial data sets such as government spending are still closed and inaccessible to citizens, the Central News Agency quoted the British organization as saying.

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Economy

What's Driving The New Migrant Exodus From Cuba

Since Cuba reopened its borders last December after COVID closures, the number of people leaving the island has gone up significantly. Migration has been a constant in Cuban life since the 1950s. But this article in Cuba's independent news outlet El Toque shows just how important migration is to understand the ordeals of everyday life on the island.

March for the 69th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.

Loraine Morales Pino

HAVANA — Some 157,339 Cubans crossed the border into the United States between Oct. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, according to the U.S. Border Patrol — a figure significantly higher than the one recorded during the 1980 Mariel exodus, when a record 125,000 Cubans arrived in the U.S. over a period of seven months.

Migrating has once again become the only way out of the ordeal that life on the island represents.

Cubans of all ages who make the journey set off towards a promise. They prefer the unknown to the grim certainty that the Cuban regime offers them.

Migration from Cuba has been a constant since the 1950s.

In 1956, the largest number of departures was recorded in the colonial and republican periods, with the arrival of 14,953 Cubans in the United States, the historical destination of migratory flows. Since the January 1959 revolution, that indicator has been exceeded 30 times.

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