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Tsai talks cooperation with Central American allies (update)

2016/06/27 12:18:32

Panama City, June 26 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) held bilateral talks in Panama on Sunday with leaders of four of Taiwan's Central American allies on ways to strengthen cooperation, a senior official of the Presidential Office said.

Tsai had meetings with Guatemala Vice President Jafeth Cabrera Franco, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, El Salvador Vice President Oscar Samuel Ortiz and Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, according to Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁).

In her meeting with Cabrera, Tsai pointed to Taiwan's strength in the pharmaceutical sector and proposed further discussions with Guatemala on partnerships in that area, Tseng said.

Tsai also talked about enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the areas of health and medical services, education, and infrastructure, Tseng said.

In Tsai's discussions with Medina, she responded positively to his suggestion that the Dominican Republic seek to attract more investments from Taiwanese textile manufacturers, and she proposed that the two countries continue to expand trade and economic cooperation, Tseng said.

Tsai's meeting with Ortiz focused on his proposal that Taiwan could serve as gateway for El Salvador products to enter the broader Asian market, according to Tseng.

Tsai said she will ask the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and to study how a platform could be established that to help introduce El Salvador products into Asia, Tseng said.

The discussions between Tsai and Hernandez highlighted the Taiwan Scholarship program, which Hernandez said was helping to cultivate talent in his country, according to Tseng.

Tsai proposed that Taiwan and Honduras expand exchanges of students and entrepreneurs and encourage more Hondurans to study in Taiwan.

She also raised the idea of an internship program for foreign students in Taiwan, through which they would be able to practically apply their knowledge.

The meetings were held before the afternoon ceremony for the inauguration of expanded Panama Canal, which was attended by Panama President Juan Carlos Varela and other dignitaries, including the Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden, who was leading the American delegation.

Tsai was scheduled to attend a banquet later in the day hosted by Varela, while the two leaders were expected to hold bilateral discussions on Monday.

After the meeting and a state banquet, Tsai will fly to Paraguay on the second leg of her nine-day trip, which is her first overseas visit since taking office May 20.

(By Sophia Yeh and Kay Liu)
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