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Montana State governor arrives in Taiwan, to meet Tsai

10/29/2023 12:44 PM
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Montana State Governor Greg Gianforte (center) and his wife Susan Gianforte (left) is greeted by Jason Ma, deputy director-general of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Montana State Governor Greg Gianforte (center) and his wife Susan Gianforte (left) is greeted by Jason Ma, deputy director-general of Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of North American Affairs, at the Taoyuan Airport on Sunday upon the U.S. politician's arrival. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) Governor Greg Gianforte of the U.S. State of Montana arrived in Taiwan Sunday to begin a six-day visit, during which he will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to enhance the bilateral partnership, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Gianforte was greeted by Jason Ma (馬博元), deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs, upon his arrival at the Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday morning.

During his stay until Nov. 3, Gianforte and his delegation will also meet with Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Deputy Foreign Minister Roy Lee (李淳), other senior government officials, and business representatives, MOFA said in a press release.

The governor will witness two signing ceremonies between representatives of both sides: one for a Montana-Taiwan educational cooperation pact, and the other for a partnership deal between the Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei and Montana's Department of Commerce, MOFA said.

The ministry said that Gianforte has played a pivotal role in promoting closer Taiwan-Montana cooperation since assuming the governor post in 2021. He reopened the Montana Asia Trade Office in Taiwan, which was closed in 2012 due to limited budget.

The visit marks Gianforte's first overseas trip since assuming office, according to MOFA.

In a separate press release, the State of Montana said the governor's trade mission to Taipei also features representatives from its agricultural, manufacturing, photonics, and bioscience industries.

"Beginning in 1985 with the signing of our sister state relationship, Montana has shared a strong bond with Taiwan, forged through educational exchanges, the trade of our high quality commodities, and our shared values of freedom and free enterprise," Gianforte was quoted as saying in the Oct. 27 press release.

"Building on this partnership, I proudly reopened the Montana Asia Trade Office in Taipei during my first year in office, ushering in new opportunities for the people of Montana and Taiwan. I look forward to working with Taiwan over the coming years and further strengthening our partnership on this trade mission," it said.

Taiwan is one of Montana's top 10 trading partners. In 2022, Taiwan purchased over US$107 million in goods from Montana, including high quality wheat, industrial machinery, and beef, according to the press release.

Taiwan has also partnered with Montana through the university system, developing programs at the University of Montana and Montana Technological University for short-term exchanges, it added.

In October 2021, the governor reopened the Montana Asia Trade Office to generate new business opportunities for Montana and expand sales and investments across the wheat, pulse crops, machinery, education, optics, coal, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Wang Mei-mei (王美美), who led the office in Taiwan prior to its closure in 2012, currently serves as its official representative.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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