President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Paraguayan Minister of Industry and Commerce Liz Cramer on the morning of June 20. She said that Taiwan will continue to work with all sectors of Paraguayan society to expand exchanges and cooperation across the board.
The president began by welcoming Minister Cramer and her delegation to Taiwan. She stated that over the past few days, Minister Cramer and the members of her delegation have engaged in wide-ranging exchanges with people in both government and the private sector. They attended the second joint committee meeting on the Taiwan-Paraguay Economic Cooperation Agreement, and held an informational meeting regarding investment opportunities in Paraguay. President Tsai expressed confidence that both countries benefitted greatly from these activities.
President Tsai mentioned that when she visited Paraguay last year, she keenly felt the close cooperative ties between Taiwan and Paraguay. There are about 4,000 Taiwanese currently doing business in Paraguay, and they have invested a combined total of more than US$100 million. She expressed hope that Taiwan and Paraguay will build on the current foundation to further enhance investment ties.
The president pointed out that, in addition to Minister Cramer's current visit, Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-Chin (沈榮津) will lead a delegation of firms to Paraguay next month, and the two sides will hold a Taiwan-Paraguay Economic Cooperation Meeting in a collaborative effort to strengthen our partnership.
President Tsai further pointed out that deeper cooperation between Taiwan and Paraguay over the past three years is gradually beginning to show results. For example, the Taiwan-Paraguay Economic Cooperation Agreement entered into effect in February of last year, and Paraguay's exports to Taiwan from January through May of this year totaled US$18.1 million, up by 90% year-on-year.
The president said she hopes to use enhanced Taiwan-Paraguay commercial ties to help Taiwanese companies bolster their global presence. Paraguay is a member of Mercosur, so when Taiwanese companies invest in Paraguay or set up business locations there, it helps Taiwan to "use its foothold in Paraguay to set its sights on the rest of South America."
The president emphasized that the two countries must work together to achieve shared goals. This visit to Taiwan by Minister Cramer demonstrates how much Paraguay values the promotion of our bilateral commercial ties. She added that Taiwan will continue to work with all sectors of Paraguayan society to expand exchanges and cooperation across the board.
In closing, President Tsai welcomed Minister Cramer to Taiwan once again, and asked her to convey greetings from Taiwan to Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez.