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Foreign officials thank Taiwan for offering development aid

2012/09/25 16:58:20

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's international aid programs have helped contribute to a better quality of life in developing countries, the country's diplomatic allies said at a conference on foreign aid in Taipei Tuesday.

Government representatives from Saint Lucia and the Republic of The Gambia said their countries have benefited from partnerships with Taiwan, especially in the agriculture and information technology fields and in the financial sector.

James Fletcher, Saint Lucia's technology minister, said at the one-day International Conference on International Development Cooperation and Taiwan Experience that Taiwan's development assistance has helped the Caribbean country develop its agricultural sector.

Fletcher said Saint Lucia's agriculture-oriented economy is vulnerable to natural disasters that can dramatically affect exports, but Taiwan has helped the country improve its food productivity by training farmers and offering assistance in tissue culture.

The results of such efforts have turned out to be fruitful, he said, adding that Saint Lucia will extend its cooperation with Taiwan in ways such as introducing renewable energy to make the sector sustainable.

An official from Gambia said people in the developing world have not only benefited from Taiwan's material assistance but have also been inspired by the diligence and creativity of the Taiwanese.

"Taiwan stands tall as a good example of development," said Fatou Lamin Faye, minister of Basic and Secondary Education in the western African country.

Earlier in the day, Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou said in his opening speech at the conference that Taiwan is committed to forging global partnerships to enhance the effectiveness of the country's development aid.

The forum, held to discuss the roles of donor and recipient countries in international development, was attended by hundreds of foreign and local participants.

(By Elaine Hou and Lee Hsin-Yin)