President Tsai Ing-wen met with First Lady Ana García de Hernández of the Republic of Honduras and Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada on the morning of April 3. The president thanked Honduras for its strong support for Taiwan's international participation, and expressed hope for further bilateral exchanges and cooperation, so that our two countries can create a better future together.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that when she visited Honduras the year before last, she received gracious hospitality from President Juan Orlando Hernández and First Lady Hernández. She expressed her delight to see First Lady Hernández visit Taiwan with her son Juan Orlando Hernández García.
President Tsai pointed that this marked the fourth time First Lady Hernández has visited Taiwan, and she has spent many years working to promote public health, education, and social services in Honduras. The president expressed hope that through bilateral exchanges, they could provide each other with better solutions and valuable insights on cooperative national development, she said.
In recent years, President Tsai noted, Ambassador Sierra has worked closely with us. The ambassador has actively promoted the export of Honduran seafood, beef, coffee, and muskmelons to Taiwan, and his efforts have led to breakthrough growth in our bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
The president further stated that in 2017, Honduras experienced a trade surplus with Taiwan, meaning that Taiwan is importing more goods from Honduras. The president mentioned that she is particularly fond of Honduran coffee herself, and not only is all of the coffee used at her official residence from Honduras, she also often gives it as a gift.
Ambassador Sierra has also done much to promote bilateral cultural and athletic exchanges. He is a good friend to Taiwan, and we will miss him as he prepares to take up his new post in the United States, the president said. She thanked Ambassador Sierra for his contributions on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan.
Cooperation between Taiwan and Honduras, the president emphasized, has seen steady progress in 2019. Our national-level Taiwan Agriculture Investment Company, for example, established a Honduran subsidiary this past January, and since then the two countries have launched the Healthy Avocado Seedling Production Project. She expressed confidence that this project would further improve avocado production and sales and spur even more investments.
The president then asked the First Lady to convey to President Hernández the kind wishes and gratitude of Taiwan. We thank Honduras for its strong support for Taiwan's international participation, President Tsai said, and hope to continue working with Honduras to further exchanges and cooperation so that our two countries can create a better future together.