On the morning of September 20, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Gary Herbert, Governor of the State of Utah (US). She explained that Taiwan and Utah have established a deep friendship through cooperation and exchanges, and expressed hope that the two sides can continue strengthening our common links and developments on all fronts.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that during her stopover in the United States on the way to a state visit last month, Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu (陳菊) went to Utah to visit Governor Herbert. Barely one month later, the governor led a delegation to Taiwan, showing that the bilateral exchanges were a great success. On behalf of the government and the people of Taiwan, the president extended a warm welcome to the visiting delegation.
President Tsai stated that we are also very concerned about the recent wildfires in Utah. The challenges posed by extreme weather is a serious matter that the whole world must face. She looks forward to even more cooperation with the United States on climate change issues.
Taiwan and the State of Utah have interacted frequently in all fields, the president said, particularly in economic and trade exchanges. Taiwan is Utah's sixth-largest trading market in the world, and its third-largest export market in Asia. Last year, Utah sent delegates to a trade show here and signed an MOU with Taiwan. During his stay in Taiwan, Governor Herbert will also attend a foreign direct investment luncheon to explore opportunities for further cooperation.
In recent years, President Tsai stated, under Governor Herbert's leadership, Utah has done extremely well economically. The state's economic and trade performance has outshined many other US states. Its "Silicon Slopes" high-tech hub has also attracted many domestic and foreign companies to invest.
At present, the president said, Taiwan is actively promoting aerospace and technology industries, which are also priority industries in Utah. We are striving to create an investment-friendly environment and hope to learn a great deal from Utah's experience, be it in industrial development or attracting international investment.
President Tsai specially thanked Governor Herbert for the importance he attaches to Taiwan and his support for Taiwan. Each interaction between Taiwan and the United States builds on the deep and strong foundation of our relationship, she said, and each of the visitors will further connect the two countries in friendship. Take for instance Mr. Robert DeWitt, former Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Kaohsiung Office, who is a Utah citizen as well as an honorary citizen of Kaohsiung City. Although he returned to the United States after retirement last year, his caring and support for Taiwan and Taiwan-US relations has continued.
Moreover, the president said, AIT Taipei Office Director Brent Christensen, who just returned to Taiwan last month, is also from Utah, and is working with us to take Taiwan-US relations to the next level. Over the years, Taiwan and Utah have established a deep friendship through various cooperation and exchanges. She looks forward to working with Governor Hebert to continue strengthening the common links and developments between us on all fronts.