President Tsai and King Mswati III of Eswatini hold bilateral talks, witness the signing of joint declaration
On the morning of October 21, after welcoming King Mswati III and Inkhosikati (Queen) LaMashwama of the Kingdom of Eswatini with military honors, President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Lai Ching-te, joined King Mswati III for bilateral talks and to witness the signing of a joint declaration. In remarks, President Tsai thanked Eswatini for its longstanding support for Taiwan's international participation, including at this year's United Nations General Assembly, when King Mswati III spoke up emphatically and movingly for Taiwan. The president also expressed hope that Taiwan and Eswatini will continue to deepen our partnership in international participation, trade and investment, and vocational training, among other fields, advancing the prosperity and development of our nations and opening up new possibilities for bilateral cooperation.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Since assuming office in 2016, I have had the pleasure of meeting with Your Majesty King Mswati III in person on a number of occasions. In 2018, I led a delegation to Eswatini and was deeply impressed by the results of our bilateral collaboration.
The members of Taiwan's technical and medical missions, as well as our business community, have built strong partnerships with our friends in Eswatini. Together, we are working to achieve our common goals.
In 2018, we also launched the Africa Project. By combining resources across our government agencies, diplomatic and technical missions, and business community, we aim to deepen Taiwan's relationship with Africa. In this, Eswatini is a key stakeholder.
Over the years, cooperation between Taiwan and Eswatini has involved both the public and private sectors, yielding fruitful results in such areas as agriculture, trade, investment, public health, and medicine.
Thanks to Your Majesty's visit, we will soon witness the signing of a joint declaration between our countries. In the future, Taiwan and Eswatini will continue to deepen our partnership in international participation, trade and investment, and vocational training, among other areas, advancing the prosperity and development of our nations.
I would like to take this opportunity to specially thank Eswatini for its longstanding support for Taiwan's international participation. At the World Health Assembly, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and other international bodies, Eswatini has done its utmost in backing Taiwan's bids for participation. During the United Nations General Assembly this year, Your Majesty personally spoke up emphatically for Taiwan, a gesture which profoundly moved us.
Taiwan deeply values its friendship with Eswatini. Our countries have been diplomatic allies for over half a century, helping and partnering with each other along the way. For instance, during my visit to Eswatini in 2018, when I met with Her Majesty the Queen Mother, we discussed projects to increase job opportunities for women.
We hope that Taiwan and Eswatini will continue to strengthen our exchanges and open up new possibilities for bilateral cooperation. I look forward to working together with all of you. And I would like to ask Your Majesty to convey my greetings to Her Majesty the Queen Mother upon returning home.
In his remarks, King Mswati III expressed gratitude for the invitation to visit this great and historic nation which continues to develop in leaps and bounds, and congratulated Taiwan on the tremendous progress it has seen under the leadership of President Tsai. Noting Taiwan's development in infrastructure, technology, and medicine, His Majesty encouraged the government and the people of Taiwan to continue working together to realize more economic and sustainable development.
Mentioning that next year Eswatini will celebrate its independence, His Majesty's birthday, and its friendship with Taiwan, King Mswati III extended an invitation to President Tsai to visit at a time of her convenience. His Majesty also expressed his belief that the lifting of travel restrictions was possible thanks to international collaboration and mutual support.
King Mswati III thanked Taiwan for providing essential medication, expertise, and personal protective equipment. He added that our countries' cooperation agreement covering the period from 2018 to 2022 has helped Eswatini make strides in the areas of rural electrification, agriculture, water and sanitation facilities in rural communities, support for small-holder dairy producers, and cancer diagnosis and treatment. His Majesty also recognized Taiwan's assistance in hospital renovation, its help in Eswatini's medical and ICT sectors, and its cooperation in Eswatini's efforts across the public and private sectors to promote youth entrepreneurship, innovation, and social impact to the benefit of Eswatini.
King Mswati III expressed anticipation for the forthcoming signing of the joint declaration, which will help joint development of a strategic oil reserve facility, and was happy to see that our bilateral academic cooperation programs have moved Eswatini closer to its goal of education for all, with many students from Eswatini studying in Taiwan, and with English teachers from Eswatini sharing their knowledge with students in Taiwan.
Expressing his belief that tradition and culture are the pillars of our respective national identities, molding societies and building national cohesion, King Mswati III thanked Taiwan for its continued investment in Eswatini's national events and cultural ceremonies. His Majesty also expressed gratitude for Taiwan's support for Eswatini's economic recovery, including in manufacturing, ICT, agriculture, and tourism. He added that the trade protocols signed by our countries have helped expand markets for our business community, which along with economic recovery efforts will help us take advantage of trade opportunities and facilitate access to regional and continental markets for international investors.
King Mswati III also acknowledged Taiwan's support in the discovery of mineral deposits in Eswatini, which will contribute to its economic recovery initiatives, and reiterated Eswatini's objectives to encourage the expansion of existing businesses and increase the rate of new investment projects while actively creating more business opportunities. His Majesty invited Taiwanese businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in and partner with Eswatini in its efforts to drive economic innovation and growth.
King Mswati III concluded his remarks by once again congratulating the president and the people of Taiwan on their country's 111th milestone, and expressed his wish that the people of Taiwan enjoy greater prosperity and continue to share their success in technology, health, and agriculture with developing countries. His Majesty said he looks forward to fruitful engagements over the course of his trip that will enhance our countries' friendship and bilateral cooperation for many more years to come. He then reiterated his pledge that Eswatini will support Taiwan's bid to be a full member of the United Nations.
After the conclusion of bilateral talks, President Tsai and King Mswati III jointly witnessed Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Eswatini Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thulisile Dladla sign a joint declaration on deepening bilateral cooperation in fields including international participation, trade, and investment.
Among the members of the delegation were Eswatini Minister of Information, Communications and Technology Princess Sikhanyiso, Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg, and other members of the royal household and cabinet. The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Eswatini Ambassador Promise Msibi.