At about 11:00 a.m. on October 31 local time (7:00 a.m. on October 31, Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen and her delegation attended a "One Island One Product" handicrafts exhibit together with Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine at the College of the Marshall Islands. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about the special handicrafts produced on each of the Marshallese atolls and islands.
After arriving at the College of the Marshall Islands, President Heine spoke to President Tsai about the special features of the handicrafts at each of the exhibit booths. In addition to the sale of handicrafts and local agricultural products, the exhibit also featured lively performances by guitarists, and a demonstration by Marshallese women of the making of handwoven mats.
President Tsai interacted amiably with locals at the exhibit booths and purchased a necklace made of coconut sugar, woven baskets, and a hand fan with an image of the ROC flag woven in. The atmosphere at the exhibit was relaxed and happy. After leaving the handicrafts exhibit, President Tsai and her delegation attended a luncheon hosted by Marshall Islands Nitijela Speaker Kenneth A. Kedi.
Copra kernels and handicrafts constitute the main source of income for the Marshallese residents on the outer islands or atolls. The Marshall Islands government, in order to help those residents increase their incomes and accentuate what is unique to each locality, has adopted a "One Island One Product" initiative that is modeled after the "One Town One Product" program launched in 1989 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. Under the "One Island One Product" initiative, each atoll and island capitalizes on unique local characteristics to develop distinctive handicrafts and traditional food items that can be sold in the marketplace.
The outer islands and atolls of the Marshall Islands produce a very wide range of unique products, including handicrafts (e.g. floral decorations, hand fans, and baskets woven from coconut fronds and pandanus leaves), traditional food items (e.g. dried pandanus fruit and breadfruit flour), and agricultural and fisheries products. Some local specialty goods are already being sold at local supermarkets and handicrafts shops, and at farmers markets organized by Taiwan's technical mission.