President Tsai Ing-wen held a reception for the Taiwan Technical Mission in Paraguay on the afternoon of August 14 (Tuesday) local time (early morning on August 15 Taipei time). She thanked the mission members for their efforts devoted to Taiwan diplomacy, and encouraged everyone to do their jobs to the best of their ability to optimize the benefits of Taiwan-Paraguay exchanges and cooperation.
After the president arrived, the head of the technical mission in Paraguay, Mr. Luis Jou (周俊賢), first briefed her on the Pacu Fingerling Breeding and Cultivation Project, Orchid Industry Development and Tissue Culture Plantlet Propagation Project, and Health Information Management Efficiency Enhancement Project, and the results achieved by Mandarin language instructors in Paraguay.
The president later delivered remarks, saying that she also met with the mission members on her last visit to Paraguay in 2016. At that time, she visited the Orchid Exhibition and Sale Center, and also saw a Feed Production Project factory. Today, at a luncheon with President Horacio Cartes, President Tsai saw a variety of exceptionally beautiful orchids, and said she knows they represent the painstaking efforts of many people and are the result of cooperation between Taiwan and Paraguay.
President Tsai then turned to the orchid industry development plan, saying that based on the briefing she just received, we know we need to continue to expand our technical scale. In addition to the seedlings and cultivation techniques Taiwan provides, she said, we also hope to create commercial orchid production capabilities in Paraguay, and the two countries should work together to achieve that.
President Tsai then said that Minister-designate of Public Health and Social Welfare Julio Mazzoleni has praised the Health Information Management Efficiency Enhancement Project for successfully helping to provide health care in remote areas. She noted that providing health care in remote areas and medical information technology is an important element of Taiwan-Paraguay cooperation.
The president mentioned she also saw many organizations in Paraguay where Taiwanese are teaching Mandarin, which will help our Paraguayan friends understand Taiwan better, while also promoting friendship between the two countries.
President Tsai said that everyone in the technical mission plays an important role in Taiwan's diplomatic efforts, with many serving more than one of our diplomatic allies. She cited Mr. Luis Jou, head of the current technical mission, as an example. Mr. Jou previously helped set up a production and marketing system for Honduran fishermen, but is now in Paraguay, continuing his work with our diplomatic allies.
The president said she was visiting to thank the members of the technical mission for supporting Taiwan's diplomatic efforts, and cheer them on, but also to announce that beginning next year, the government will increase rent allowances for technicians stationed abroad and educational stipends for their children. That increase, she said, was designed to both acknowledge their outstanding performance, and let them focus on their job without worries. President Tsai said she knows that leaving home behind is a hardship, but they have all embraced the pursuit of national diplomacy, and the expectations of Paraguay's government and people. She said she is sure that these hardships are worthwhile, and hopes that everyone will continue to work together and encourage each other.
The president noted that Paraguay is farther away from Taiwan than any of our other allies, and that it took nearly 24 hours to fly from Taiwan to Los Angeles, and then from Los Angeles to Paraguay. She then said she hopes the members of the technical mission will continue to do their jobs to the best of their ability to optimize the benefits of Taiwan-Paraguay exchanges and cooperation.
Legislators who attended the meeting also met with the technical mission members in Paraguay to exchange opinions regarding the development and results of various projects.
Also attending the reception were National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維); Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮); International Cooperation and Development Fund Secretary-General Timothy T. Y. Hsiang (項恬毅); and Legislators Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Lee Chun-Yi (李俊俋), Chen Yi-Chieh (陳怡潔), and Tsai Shih-Ying (蔡適應).