President Tsai Ing-wen and Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands regarding Women Business Start-up Small Loan Revolving Fund on the afternoon of March 26 (morning of March 26 Taipei time).
The master of ceremonies first read aloud the key points of the MOU in both Chinese and English. President Tsai and President Heine then acted as witnesses as Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Marshall Islands Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs Amenta Matthew signed the memorandum.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that last summer, when President Heine traveled to Taiwan on a state visit, they addressed issues of women’s empowerment, engaging in a deep exchange of opinions. Their ultimate consensus was that our nations would jointly establish the Women Business Start-up Small Loan Revolving Fund.
President Tsai further stated that half a year later, and after close discussions between colleagues from associated ministries and departments, we are gathered here today to witness the signing of a cooperative MOU that establishes the fund.
She expressed hope that the fund will be employed sustainably in the future, providing Marshallese women with the initial financing needed to get their businesses off the ground, as well as building a better business environment.
In particular, President Tsai encouraged women who have been to Taiwan for technical and vocational training to put the techniques they have learned to good use. These professional skills not only help provide an increased family income and improve quality of life, but also give women more opportunities to fulfill their potential.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan’s achievements have shown that women's entrepreneurship and employment yield a multitude of benefits, bringing economic growth to the entire nation and rendering society more dynamic. Taiwan's experience should be an impetus to promote even more concrete actions that facilitate gender equality, she said. Finally, she wished that the fund will bring success to our Marshallese sisters, allowing them to achieve their goals.
President Tsai and President Heine then engaged in bilateral talks, exchanging opinions on cooperative relations between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands.
Also in attendance were President Heine's husband Thomas Kijiner, Jr., Marshall Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade John M. Silk, Marshall Islands Ambassador to the ROC (Taiwan) Neijon R. Edwards; Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), and Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Jeffrey S.C. Hsiao (蕭勝中).