President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, left) and her Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega (right)
Managua, Jan. 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday attended the inauguration of Daniel Ortega, who was re-elected in November to a third consecutive term as Nicaragua's president.
At the ceremony held at Revolution Square in Managua, Tsai sat next to Nicaragua's vice president, Rosario Murillo. The ceremony, which featured lively dance and music performances, drew thousands of Nicaraguans.
In addition to Tsai, the presidents of El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela and Bolivia were also on hand for the festivities.
President Tsai (left) and Nicaragua's vice president, Rosario Murillo
Earlier in the day, Tsai and her entourage -- including government officials and Taiwanese business representatives -- met with representatives of a Nicaragua-Taiwan business chamber and explored opportunities for greater cooperation during a breakfast.
In her remarks, Tsai said Taiwan and Nicaragua signed a free trade agreement in 2006, and bilateral trade has grown rapidly over the last decade.
Despite challenges in the international economy, Tsai said she was confident that Taiwan and Nicaragua will be able to maintain and strengthen their trade relations, suggesting that Taiwan and Nicaragua use each other as a base to expand their presences in the Central American and Asia-Pacific markets.
As complementary partners, Taiwan can import agricultural products from Nicaragua, while Nicaragua can learn from Taiwan's management skills and introduce more advanced equipment from Taiwan to boost its industrial development, she said.
Tsai expressed hope that Taiwanese business representatives traveling with her will use the visit to seek out potential investment opportunities.
"Let us move forward our trade exchanges with Nicaragua," she said.
Following the breakfast, the president also visited Taiwanese textile and garment factories in Nicaragua to learn more about their operations there.
Tsai, who is in Nicaragua on the second leg of her Central American tour, will depart for Guatemala on Wednesday.
She will later visit El Salvador before returning to Taiwan on Jan. 15, with a stopover in San Francisco en route.
The president visited Honduras before arriving in Managua Monday.
Tsai's nine-day state visit to Central America is aimed at consolidating ties with Taiwan's diplomatic allies there after the small West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Dec. 20, 2016.
(By Sophia Yeh and Elaine Hou)