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Taiwan-Belize cooperation to focus more on education, infrastructure

2018/08/18 19:29:14

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)

Belize City, Aug. 17 (CNA) Taiwan will step up its efforts to provide educational opportunities to the people of Belize and to help the Central American country improve its infrastructure, Taiwan's National Security Council (NSC) Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) said Friday.

In terms of education, Taiwan will increase the number of scholarships offered annually to Belize and will also provide opportunities for short-term vocational training, the NSC official told reporters after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) met with Belize Governor-General Colville Young and Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow in their respective offices.

Tsai Ming-yen said it is hoped that the graduates of the vocational training programs will apply their skills to help advance Belize's overall development.

During the meeting with the prime minister, President Tsai also responded positively to a request by Barrow for assistance with Belize's infrastructure, according to Tsai Ming-yen.

"The construction of new roads, hospitals, and other important projects are especially ideal candidates for our Official Development Assistance (ODA) program," President Tsai was quoted as saying. "From our farmers to overseas construction companies, Taiwan has accumulated a lot of experience and it looks forward to sharing it with Belize."

The ODA program was designed to develop large infrastructure and investment projects in countries with which Taiwan has diplomatic ties and those that are targeted under its New Southbound Policy.

In President Tsai's meeting with Young, the Belize governor general said he was impressed with the way Taiwan had managed to strike a balance between economic and environmental sustainability and hoped it could pass on some its expertise in that area to Belize, according to Tsai Ming-yen.

In response, President Tsai said Taiwan was willing to share its experience with Belize and to work together to tackle the common problems brought by climate change, the NSC official said.

President Tsai is scheduled to leave Belize on Saturday for Houston, where she will make a 27-hour stopover before returning to Taiwan.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin)