High-level U.S. treasury official to visit Taiwan

07/17/2019 08:25 PM
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Taipei, July 17 (CNA) Mitchell Silk, acting assistant secretary for international markets at the U.S. Treasury Department, was due to arrive in Taiwan Wednesday for a two-day visit to foster cooperation on energy and infrastructure between the U.S. and Taiwan.

Silk will propose ideas for developing domestic and regional energy and infrastructure markets as part of the Indo-Pacific vision's Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (EDGE) initiative and the Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network (ITAN), the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced in a press statement.

Asia EDGE is a whole-of-government initiative designed to strengthen energy security and promote energy access across the Indo-Pacific region, while ITAN is aimed at improving partner countries' project planning and management capacity, according to the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

"This will be Mr. Silk's first visit to Taiwan in his capacity as acting assistant secretary," the AIT said, adding that he will be accompanied by David Gottfried, deputy director of the Office of Investment, Energy and Infrastructure in the International Affairs division of the U.S. Treasury.

Silk is scheduled to meet with local economic, finance, energy and infrastructure authorities, as well as U.S. and Taiwanese industry groups, to discuss various topics, including debt market development, increasing private sector participation in projects, and promoting competitive procurement, the AIT said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed welcome to Silk's visit.

"MOFA sincerely welcomes Acting Assistant Secretary Silk as he visits Taiwan," MOFA Deputy Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) told CNA.

In a press statement, MOFA said Silk's trip will be beneficial to discussions on cooperation between the two countries under Taiwan's New Southbound Policy and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy," the statement said.

Silk is no stranger to Taiwan, having studied mandarin Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University and having spent over 15 years of his professional career in East Asia, working on a number of Taiwan's landmark energy projects funded with foreign investment, according to MOFA.

The AIT said Silk has a 30-year legal career in which he has developed expertise in energy and infrastructure matters, asset management, banking and finance, China and Asia, as well as growth capital matters involving technology.

He has advised related projects in these sectors in addition to advising foreign banks, the AIT said.

(By Emerson Lim)


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