An exhibition, tree planting, signing ceremony and vehicle handover were among some the highlights of the visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines of the president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Dr Tsai Ing-wen.
Dr Ing-wen made her stop in St Vincent on Tuesday as part of her Caribbean tour dubbed “President Tsai Ing-wen Journey of Freedom, Democracy, Sustainability – Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia”.
Her tour of the region is aimed at further strengthening cooperation, exchanges and friendship between Taiwan and its four Caribbean allies.
“Although we have just arrived, I can see why your national anthem calls this island an island so beautiful. On behalf of our entire delegation, I want to thank Prime Minister for giving us such a warm welcome and for finding time to accompany us today. Today’s itinerary encompassed many aspects of our cooperation and we learned a great deal,” the president said at a Reception at the Prime Minister’s residence.
President Tsai, who is the first female president of Taiwan, said that she was able to witness the developments of both country’s bilateral cooperation which has brought achievements in infrastructure, ICT, agriculture, education and healthcare.
And she thanked Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves for trusting her country to be a part of these projects.
President Tsai, also in her speech congratulated SVG on being elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
“This is a rare opportunity to advance peace and security on a global scale. I also want to thank St Vincent and the Grenadines for your longstanding support for Taiwan and for speaking up for our international participation. I know that we can do even more to foster peaceful, sustainable development and be a force of good in the world,” she said.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in his remarks at Tuesday’s closing event, said that Taiwan and SVG possess values that bring both countries together despite being so geographically distant.
He said the relationship between the two countries is about making things better for the respective peoples.
“…What is amazing is the way in which our two countries, our peoples with different historical experiences that we have been able to build what has amounted to family type relations, that we can speak honestly with each other and we can say things to one another which only friends can address,” Gonsalves said.
Prior to the reception, President Tsai visited the Botanic Gardens where she was greeted by traditional dancing performed by Renaissance Dancers and steel pan music from the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra.
She also engaged in a tree-planting ceremony and was given a tour of the exhibits on display at the Curator’s House by the curator, Gordon Shallow.
The president also witnessed the handing over of vehicles to the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and the signing of two agreements between both countries: the Agreement on Public Finance Cooperation and Agreement on Combating Transnational crimes.
During her visit, President Tsai hosted a luncheon for the representatives of the Taiwan Alumni Association and the 2019 Taiwan Scholarship recipients at Grenadine House.
She gave a brief address at a special sitting of Parliament and also attended an exhibition at the National Public Library which was titled “Taiwan Week: Achievement Exhibition of Technical Cooperation between St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of China (Taiwan)”.
President Tsai departed SVG on Wednesday morning with her delegation to continue her Caribbean tour in St Lucia.