At noon on November 10, President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Chen Chien-jen and his wife, hosted a state banquet at the Presidential Office Building for Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, his wife, and the members of his delegation. The president stated that, for Taiwan, Saint Lucia is a very important partner in the quest to contribute to the international community. She emphasized that cooperation between Taiwan and Saint Lucia will not only continue, but increase.
In remarks, the president first thanked students from Sinvi Primary School in Alishan Township, Chiayi County for their exciting performance of old songs from the Tsou indigenous people. She stated that a rich and diverse culture is a precious asset for Taiwan. President Tsai added that Taiwan is proud of its culture, and that she was very happy to share it with Prime Minister Chastanet and his delegation.
The president pointed out that as a member of the international community, Taiwan wants to share its culture, technology, and experiences with the world, and make even greater contributions. And Saint Lucia is an important partner in that process.
Commenting on agricultural cooperation, President Tsai noted that, just as Prime Minister Chastanet had stated, Taiwan and Saint Lucia have worked together on the Banana Black Sigatoka Disease Prevention and Treatment Project, and today banana production has been successfully restored in Saint Lucia, a source of shared pride.
Turning to the topic of bilateral exchanges, the president remarked that Taiwan's Changhua Christian Hospital and Saint Lucia's St. Jude Hospital are sister hospitals, and for many years have exchanged medical personnel in what has become an important tradition. At the same time, the Taiwan government is sharing its successes in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) with the people of Saint Lucia. Thanks to the efforts of Taiwan's technical mission, development of the Internet has progressed steadily in Saint Lucia, affording citizens there more convenient ICT services.
The president emphasized that cooperation between Taiwan and Saint Lucia will not only continue, but increase. Following the launch of the first-ever private sector cooperative investment project in the second half of this year, the Saint Lucia minister of commerce will lead a group of business leaders to Taiwan next week to seek out new business opportunities through cooperation.
President Tsai said that the exchanges on this trip will bring the two countries closer together. She once again thanked Prime Minister Chastanet for Saint Lucia's support of Taiwan, and said she looks forward to visiting Saint Lucia to enhance the bilateral friendship.
Finally, the president invited all the guests at the banquet to join her in a toast to a smooth and successful visit for Prime Minister Chastanet and his wife, and prosperity and lasting diplomatic ties for Taiwan and Saint Lucia.
Following President Tsai's remarks, Prime Minister Chastanet commented that Taiwan and Saint Lucia are both rich in history and culture, and that Saint Lucia began its journey of friendship with Taiwan back in the 1980s. Even amidst today's rapidly changing international geopolitical situation, he said, the friendship between the two countries remains solid.
Prime Minister Chastanet expressed hope that Taiwan and Saint Lucia would have even more exchanges and cooperation in fields like education, healthcare, business, and trade. He also said he looks forward to President Tsai visiting Saint Lucia so she can feel the passion and warmth of its people. A visit by President Tsai, he said, would further develop the deep friendship between the two countries.