On the afternoon of September 21, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. In remarks, President Tsai stated that over the past eight years, cooperation between Taiwan and New Mexico has grown even closer, and that last year, Taiwan also became New Mexico's sixth-largest export market and seventh-largest source of imports. The president said that as we move forward, the green economy and green industries will be key to further deepening our bilateral cooperation. She expressed her belief that through our joint efforts, New Mexico will become a shining example of Taiwan-US cooperation in green energy supply chains. The president said that she looks forward to establishing even closer collaboration in such areas as trade and renewable energy so as to facilitate prosperity and development for Taiwan and the United States.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
I still remember Governor Lujan Grisham's visit to Taiwan in 2015. At that time, you were a member of Congress from New Mexico, and I met with you as chair of the Democratic Progressive Party. I am delighted to see you again, Governor, and I welcome all of our distinguished guests to Taiwan.
Over the past eight years, cooperation between Taiwan and New Mexico has grown even closer. In 2018, we signed MOUs on driver's license reciprocity and educational cooperation. Since Governor Lujan Grisham took office, we have signed an economic and trade MOU, and New Mexico opened a trade office in Taipei to advance bilateral exchanges in various areas. Last year, Taiwan also became New Mexico's sixth-largest export market and seventh-largest source of imports.
As we move forward, the green economy and green industries will be key to further deepening our bilateral cooperation. Over the past several years, Governor Lujan Grisham has been actively pushing for clean energy transition, and New Mexico's use of renewable energies increased from 19 percent in 2018 to 43 percent in 2022.
In addition, New Mexico has many strengths, including convenient transportation and abundant human resources, as well as government business incentives. These advantages have piqued the interest of many Taiwanese businesses, including a manufacturer of components for electric vehicles that has already made plans to invest in a factory in New Mexico. I believe that through our joint efforts, New Mexico will become a shining example of Taiwan-US cooperation in green energy supply chains.
I would like to thank Governor Lujan Grisham for her long-term support of Taiwan. While serving in the House of Representatives, she supported Taiwan's participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization, and she also supported the Taiwan Travel Act. Today, she is further demonstrating her support for Taiwan-US cooperation through concrete action. I understand that during this visit, you have been participating in US Business Day events, meeting with important Taiwanese businesses, and holding discussions with government agencies on further enhancing our ties.
I wish you all a successful and fruitful visit. Through the exchanges you have had here, we look forward to establishing even closer collaboration in such areas as trade and renewable energy. Let us continue to work together to facilitate prosperity and development for Taiwan and the US.
Governor Lujan Grisham then delivered remarks, a transcript of which follows:
President Tsai, it is incredible to be back again. And I am fond, particularly, of your remembrance of our last meeting and trip. And you are correct, President Tsai, you have much success to be proud of, and the recognition of that around the world, including the United States, is remarkable. Madame President, I also want to thank you personally for hosting my entire delegation and my husband and myself on the beautiful island of Taiwan. It is quite an honor to have this invitation and to participate in this meeting with you today.
Yesterday, we announced, as you mentioned, a final agreement with Hota to locate a new manufacturing facility at the US-Mexico border in New Mexico. Hota will invest US$99 million into the project and will create 350 jobs in our state. We are very proud to be supporting this partnership with a US$3 million state job-creation investment that is all state funding. Hota is the latest Taiwanese company to join us in New Mexico. We are also home to manufacturers Admiral Cable and Cymmetrik.
President Tsai, we want you to know that this opportunity that we have has a lot to do with New Mexico's border with Mexico because it is packed with economic potential. To assure mutual success and prosperity, New Mexico has dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to build out the infrastructure at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. We are located directly between two of the country's major ports and we are currently awaiting funding from the federal government to continue to expand the Port of Entry at Santa Teresa. Four of the five Big Brothers are already located at or near the Borderplex, and other companies the world over are seeing the potential right there in the region.
We also understand the need to ensure there is a trained workforce available for Taiwanese companies who locate to New Mexico. And we are dedicated to Hota's and others' successes by making sure we do our part to invest in a skilled, highly trained workforce. We have taken incredible strategic efforts to make sure our actions result in a better workforce capacity. And these include free college, empowering New Mexicans to get a higher education, and free childcare, to make sure every New Mexican can participate in the workforce. Sharing your goal related to educational outcomes, our state is now seeing the highest college enrollment we have ever seen, and we have the second-highest college enrollment [increase] in the entire country.
We are proud to continue to state that Taiwan and New Mexico share many of the same values. We believe in supporting families, women, and our children, and see the value of our women returning to the workforce. New Mexico has invested billions of dollars in each of these areas: free childcare, universal preschool, free and healthy school meals. We are building a literacy institute to make sure that every New Mexican can read, but also to increase and elevate reading proficiency for the state and the country. And while we recognize that education is a key strategy at these investments for improving educational outcomes, we are also making sure that everyone in the state has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare.
Madame President, given that I have been here twice, and it has been an incredible honor and pleasure both times, I invite you to come to my home state and to see for yourself the kind of partnerships and the building of a future for families, both here, and companies in Taiwan, but seeing those successes in New Mexico as well. I want to thank you again for hosting the delegation, for hosting me and our experts at the Borderplex and for economic development. Thank you again.