Taiwan president lauds friendship with Haiti on state visit

2019/07/14 14:19:02 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the opening ceremony of a Taiwan trade fair in Haiti Saturday

President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the opening ceremony of a Taiwan trade fair in Haiti Saturday

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 13 (CNA) Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) praised Haiti as a solid friend while highlighting the partnership with the Caribbean ally on economic, trade and other cooperation projects during a brief stop in the country Saturday.

Tsai flew to Haiti on Saturday to begin a tour of four diplomatic allies in the Caribbean region, after concluding a visit to New York.

She was greeted by Haiti President Jovenel Moïse and his wife Martine Marie Étienne Joseph upon her arrival at Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

Tsai and Moïse then attended the opening of a Taiwan trade fair jointly organized by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince.

At the opening ceremony, Tsai thanked Taiwanese enterprises that are working with the government to boost exchanges and cooperation with foreign allies, citing two textile companies of Taiwan that have opened factories in Haiti and created many jobs.

Last year, Haiti opened the Haiti-Taiwan Chamber of Commerce, Tsai said, reflecting the closer trade and economic ties between the two countries.

She also said the two nations are working together to promote a project to upgrade Haiti's electric grid, which she described as a "benchmark bilateral cooperation program."

Through the project, which will involve new high voltage and regional micro grids and new and renovated substations, Haiti can strengthen its national development, Taiwanese businesses can expand their markets, and the partnership between Taiwan and Haiti can become closer, Tsai said.

The planned Haiti electric grid project, which has yet to be approved by Haiti's parliament, will be financed by Taiwanese banks, and worked on by engineering and construction companies from Taiwan with the assistance of Taiwanese experts and Haitian construction teams, according to Tsai.

"Taiwan and Haiti are both pursuing progress and development," Tsai said, and she hoped the two countries will continue to work together to promote each other's progress and development in the future.

After a 4.5-hour stay, Tsai left Haiti for St. Kitts and Nevis, the second leg of her four-nation visit that will also take her to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

Tsai will then go back to the United States for a visit to Denver spanning three days before returning to Taiwan on July 22.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)
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