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Taipei mayor to visit three U.S. cities

2016/03/06 14:29:23

Taipei, March 6 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) will embark on a trip next week to three cities in the western United States to gain insight on industrial development and innovation, according to city government spokesman Lin Ho-ming (林鶴明).

In his first trip to the U.S. since assuming his duties as mayor of Taiwan's capital city in December 2014, Ko will visit San Francisco, Los Angeles and Phoenix, all of which are sister cities of Taipei, Lin said.

Ko will be joined by Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) and the heads of the city's economic development, cultural affairs and health departments. They will leave Taiwan on March 8 and return on March 18, the spokesman said.

A main focus of Ko's U.S trip will be to learn about industrial development in Silicon Valley in northern California, home to some of the world's largest high-tech companies and many start-up companies, the spokesman said.

Ko will give a speech at an industrial cooperation forum in Silicon Valley, to be organized by Taipei City, and exchange ideas with business representatives in attendance, Lin said.

He will also visit Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley-based company known for its electric cars, Google's campus in Silicon Valley and other companies such as Cisco to learn about their experiences in promoting smart cities, innovation and medical technology, according to Lin.

In Los Angeles, one of the mayor's destinations will be the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, to learn more about the business model of a multi-functional sports facility and an exhibition hall, Lin said.

During the trip, the Taipei mayor will meet with the mayors of San Francisco and Phoenix and with Raymond Burghardt, the chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

Ko's U.S. trip follows a trip to Japan in late January, which took him to Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka.

(By Yuris Ku and Elaine Hou)