President Tsai Ing-wen accepted the credentials of Mirna Mariela Rivera Andino, the new Republic of Nicaragua Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Taiwan, on the morning of October 26. The president welcomed Ambassador Rivera to her new post in Taiwan, and expressed hope that our two countries will continue to offer mutual support on the international stage and cooperate to provide mutual assistance for mutual benefits, spurring bilateral development.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Just last month, Ambassador Rivera and I attended a reception for Central American Independence Day together. Today, I am delighted to accept your credentials as ambassador at the Presidential Office.
Ambassador Rivera previously studied here on a Taiwan Scholarship, and graduated from Ming Chuan University. When we see your background, we feel a close connection and we are proud that you have become an ambassador. On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I want to extend our sincerest congratulations.
For some time, media reports and online discussions have given a lot of attention to your appointment as ambassador. I was also delighted to hear you say that Taiwan is your second home, and that you missed Taiwanese foods. The chicken filets and steamed dumplings that you like so much are also favorites among Taiwanese.
We launched the Taiwan Scholarship program hoping that young people from our diplomatic allies could come to Taiwan to study and get to know more about our country. They not only become key personnel for our allies, but also serve as a bridge for bilateral exchanges that bring us closer together. Ambassador Rivera is the best testament to our bilateral cooperation. And in the future, I am sure she will also be our strongest advocate, making our cooperative projects even more successful.
Although COVID-19 has brought many challenges this year, we have still maintained frequent bilateral exchanges. Nicaraguan whiteleg shrimp and sea cucumbers, for example, are very popular in Taiwan, and imports between this January and August showed significant growth over the same period of last year. Last month, Taiwan and Nicaragua also jointly organized a trade promotion roadshow to increase sales of high quality Taiwanese products in Nicaragua.
This month, the state-run postal services of Taiwan and Nicaragua also signed an international express mail agreement. After the agreement takes effect next month, our international express mail and packages between our two countries will be delivered more quickly and at lower cost. This will be a great help to our bilateral business and cultural exchanges. It will also make it more convenient for Nicaraguans in Taiwan, including Ambassador Rivera, to receive packages with a little taste of home.
This is how we build partnerships with our diplomatic allies, one step at a time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicaragua for speaking up on Taiwan's behalf at this year's United Nations General Assembly. We look forward to continuing our mutual support on the international stage, and providing mutual assistance for mutual benefits, spurring bilateral cooperation and development.
Once again, I would like to congratulate Ambassador Rivera and wish you great success in your new post. Please also convey thanks and best regards from Taiwan to President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo.
Ambassador Rivera then delivered remarks, saying that it was a great honor to come to the Presidential Office today to present her credentials to President Tsai. The new ambassador then conveyed sincere greetings to President Tsai from Nicaragua's President Ortega and Vice President Murillo, and reaffirmed the staunch friendship between the peoples and governments of Taiwan and Nicaragua.
Ambassador Rivera then mentioned that during her visit to Nicaragua in 2017, President Ortega said that President Tsai was like a sister to him, and that Taiwan is not only Nicaragua's cooperative partner, but also a close friend. The ambassador went on to say that having the warm friendship and caring concern of President Tsai and the people of Taiwan is a great blessing for Nicaragua, and Taiwan is always on the front lines, providing Nicaraguan families with steady support and timely assistance.
Ambassador Rivera reiterated that the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity of Nicaragua looks forward to strengthening bilateral economic and trade ties, cooperative programs, and cultural exchanges.
Ambassador Rivera emphasized that Nicaragua believes diplomatic policies focused on economic development, social justice and peace are essential to building free, equal and mutually supportive societies in sovereign countries. Nicaragua takes women's empowerment in politics very seriously, pioneering related reforms, and thus greatly admires President Tsai's outstanding leadership and commitment to taking our stable bilateral relations to new heights, the ambassador said.
Ambassador Rivera stated that as a past recipient of the Taiwan Scholarship, she is a result of Taiwan and Nicaragua's longstanding friendly relationship, as well as a concrete example of the importance our countries place on culture, education, and diplomacy. This makes Ambassador Rivera feel greatly honored and also doubly responsible for her post.
Ambassador Rivera concluded that she will definitely loyally assume the responsibility President Ortega and Vice President Murillo have bestowed on her by strengthening bilateral cooperation and working to build a future of mutual benefits for our citizens. She also emphasized that while stationed as Nicaraguan ambassador to Taiwan, she will do her utmost to help both our nations thrive.