On the morning of November 19, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by US State of Idaho Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter. She thanked the governor for his long-standing support for Taiwan. President Tsai also expressed hope for increased bilateral trade, agriculture, and industry-academia cooperation, as well as professional talent exchanges in the future.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that Idaho and Taiwan share a long-standing relationship, as the State of Idaho-Asia Trade Office has been located in Taiwan for thirty years. Governor Otter is also a good friend of Taiwan. He has worked tirelessly to improve Taiwan-Idaho economic and trade relations, and this marked his third visit to Taiwan as governor.
The president expressed her gratitude to the governor for his efforts. Taiwan is now Idaho's fourth largest importing country and second largest export destination. The Idaho state government has always given Taiwan's agricultural goodwill missions an enthusiastic reception, and the results of those visits have been outstanding. She also expressed hope that the two sides would have more frequent agricultural exchanges and cooperation in the future.
The president mentioned that for many years, Governor Otter has been dedicated to diversifying Idaho's economy. The green energy, aerospace technology, and innovative industries promoted by the governor's administration are also target industries under our "5+2 industrial innovation program." And thanks to MOUs signed by Taiwan and Idaho in recent years, bilateral industrial partnerships and professional talent exchanges have further deepened.
President Tsai said she understood that for Governor Otter, education is a high priority. To address the challenges brought by advances in information and communication technology, the Taiwan government is also actively nurturing interdisciplinary talent in science and technology. The president expressed hope that industry-academia cooperation between Taiwan and Idaho would continue to make the next generation more competitive, so they can play key roles in the digital economy era.
Finally, President Tsai thanked Governor Otter for his long-standing support for Taiwan and for encouraging the signing of a Taiwan-US Free Trade Agreement. She wished the delegation a smooth and successful visit and hoped they would all visit Taiwan more often in the future.
Also included in the delegation were Director Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, Idaho Department of Commerce, and Director Celia Gould, Idaho State Department of Agriculture.