While meeting on the morning of September 5 with a delegation led by President of the Guatemalan Congress Álvaro Enrique Arzú Escobar and Mrs. Arzú, President Tsai Ing-wen briefed her visitors about the friendly interaction and cooperative exchanges between Taiwan and Guatemala. President Tsai also expressed hope that the visitors will take advantage of their trip to create more opportunities for bilateral cooperation so that the two countries can work together to enhance relations.
In remarks, President Tsai said she was delighted to host good friends from Guatemala so soon after meeting with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales during a visit to Paraguay last month. She then personally thanked President Arzú for his support for Taiwan.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan and Guatemala have long been mutually supportive, and the support of the Guatemala Congress has always been an important force. When she visited Guatemala in 2017, she was honored to be invited to speak before the Congress, where the parliamentarians gave her a rousing welcome that she remembers to this day.
President Tsai stated that since President Arzú assumed office this past January, he has continued to lead the Congress in lending Taiwan its full support. In May, for example, the Congress passed a resolution supporting Taiwan's attendance at the World Health Assembly (WHA), and President Arzú's first visit to Taiwan will promote bilateral exchanges. This visit, she said, will surely create more opportunities for bilateral cooperation.
Commenting on her visit to Guatemala in January 2017, President Tsai recalled that during her speech before the Congress, she said that Taiwan would help Taiwan's business community form investment and procurement missions on a regular basis, continuing to enhance bilateral economic and trade relations. Over the past year or so, she added, Taiwanese firms active in the tourism, coffee, and cocoa industries have traveled to Guatemala to study the market. This year, the Taiwan government expanded its efforts by sending a trade and investment mission to Central American nations. Taiwanese skin care and beverage chain stores as well as agricultural importers are all moving into Central American markets, engaging in industrial cooperation and exchanges with Guatemala and other allies.
President Tsai further pointed out that cooperation projects between Taiwan and Guatemala have yielded a steady stream of breakthroughs in infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Just last month, she said, Guatemala completed a sea turtle conservation center with help from the Taiwan Technical Mission. This new center will generate economic benefits through tourism, and also facilitate sustainable development of marine resources.
President Tsai believes that such cooperation and exchanges, as well as reciprocal visits by high-level officials, have brought Taiwan and Guatemala closer together. In closing, she again welcomed President Arzú and his delegation to Taiwan, and expressed hope that both sides will work together to enhance bilateral relations.