President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on the morning of August 27. She stated that in addition to the longstanding friendship between Taiwan and Mississippi, we share close commercial ties. The president also looked forward to further strengthening our commercial ties, as well as cultural and educational exchanges.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
I want to first welcome you to the Office of the President. I have heard that all of you are visiting Taiwan for the first time, and I hope that your time here will give you a better understanding of Taiwan and offer us an opportunity to further expand our cooperation.
Taiwan and Mississippi are quite close, and we established sister-state relations in 1983. Chiayi City and Jackson, Mississippi also became sister cities that same year. In addition to our longstanding friendship, we share close commercial ties, and our bilateral trade surpassed US$400 million in 2018.
Over the years, Governor Bryant has dedicated himself to diversifying Mississippi's economy. Mississippi's major development sectors, including aerospace, automobiles, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and shipbuilding, all align well with our 5+2 industrial innovation program. I am confident that we share many areas for potential cooperation.
Mississippi is an agricultural powerhouse, and we will be sending an agricultural mission to Mississippi in September. I want to thank Governor Bryant for offering to receive them personally. I also welcome Governor Bryant to discuss possibilities for cooperation in clean energy while your delegation is in Taiwan. I look forward to even closer exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and Mississippi in both agriculture and energy.
I know that Governor Bryant cares a great deal about challenges in education, rural healthcare, information technology, and cybersecurity. To better respond to the rapid changes of the digital age, both Taiwan and Mississippi share a need to cultivate interdisciplinary tech talents.
In addition to the education MOUs we have signed in recent years, I hope that our cooperation in industry and education will give our next generation a competitive edge, so that they can use their talents to lead our societies towards a brighter future.
In closing, I want to thank Governor Bryant and his delegation once again for coming to Taiwan. I hope that you learn a great deal in your time here, and that your trip will further strengthen our commercial ties, as well as cultural and educational exchanges.