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  • President Tsai meets with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez
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President Tsai meets with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. President Tsai and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez sign a joint statement.
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On the morning of October 3, President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Chen Chien-jen and his wife met with Republic of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his wife. Upon completion of the meeting, the two presidents signed a joint statement calling for continued enhancement and expansion of cooperative relations with an eye to jointly boosting well-being and economic prosperity for the people of the two countries.

In remarks, President Tsai said she was delighted to be hosting her visitors in the Republic of China after having just met with President and Mrs. Hernandez this past June while in Panama to attend the inauguration ceremony for the Panama Canal Expansion.

President Tsai pointed out that President Hernandez is a young and promising leader with an impressive background, both academically and in the political arena. He was elected by a wide margin as the youngest president ever in Honduras, and since taking office has done an outstanding job of governing his country. Public opinion polls show that among all the heads of state in Latin American, President Hernandez is among those who have governed most successfully, so it is clear that his leadership skills are widely recognized both at home and internationally.

President Tsai further stated that the actions taken by President Hernandez have been very much in line with the needs of the Honduran people, and have won him high praise. Just as Taiwan needs to build up its social safety net to ensure secure and stable lives for its people, President Hernandez has also undertaken a vigorous campaign to promote his "Bono Vida Mejor" (Better Life Voucher), which has already improved the living conditions of 1.2 million people.

Commenting on bilateral cooperation, President Tsai pointed out that when she met with President Hernandez in Panama they had an in-depth discussion on bilateral cooperation projects—including support for the Vida Mejor program and the Taiwan Scholarship program—and reached a consensus on this front.

President Tsai stated the Taiwan Scholarship program, in addition to facilitating people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, also helps Honduras train the human resources needed for its national development. One of the most notable Taiwan Scholarship recipients, she said, is none other than Minister of Economic Development Arnaldo Castillo Figueroa, a member of the visiting delegation. Mr. Castillo was in the first group of students to take part in an exchange program between the military academies of the two countries. President Tsai expressed hope that continuation of this program can help Honduras build up increased capacity for progress and development, and that the program will serve as a lasting bridge for bilateral exchanges.

President Tsai said that Taiwan and Honduras seek the same goal, which is to engage proactively with the world. In its diplomatic work, Taiwan intends to strengthen its relations with other countries. At the same time, Taiwan has adopted a New Southbound Policy. This visit by President Hernandez will further enhance bilateral diplomatic ties, she added.

President Tsai mentioned that Honduras has recently been working actively to attract domestic and foreign capital investments in its manufacturing sector, highways, and ports, and has been making a concerted effort to promote its external economic and trade relations. The itinerary for this visit, she noted, will afford President Hernandez opportunities to brief Taiwanese firms on the investment climate in his country.

President Tsai stressed that Taiwan and Honduras can each serve as a regional springboard for the other to the markets of Asia and Latin America, respectively. In addition to lending its full support to President Hernandez during his visit to Taiwan, the government here is also encouraging Taiwanese companies to actively participate. The hope is that the two countries will have stronger economic and trade ties and can take full advantage of the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of China and Honduras to achieve their vision of a shared prosperity generated by bilateral economic, trade, and investment activity.

President Tsai further pointed out that the friendly diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Honduras date back 75 years. She thanked Honduras for its long-standing support for Taiwan's international participation in UN specialized agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the World Health Assembly. She expressed hope that Honduras will continue speaking on Taiwan's behalf at international venues and take concrete actions to support our participation in the full range of international organizations.

President Tsai also stressed that Taiwan, as a member of the international community, is willing and able to contribute more to the world, and hopes to work with Honduras, a diplomatic ally of Taiwan's, to play a big role on the international stage. The two countries can learn from each other and together boost the well-being and economic prosperity of their respective people.

In order to further enhance bilateral economic and trade relations between Taiwan and Honduras, following their meeting the two presidents witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Chairman Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang (梁國新) of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and Honduran Minister of Economic Development Arnaldo Castillo Figueroa.

The two heads of state then signed a joint statement calling for enhancement of friendship and cooperative relations between the governments and people of the two countries.
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