On the morning of September 15, President Tsai Ing-wen addressed an online event commemorating the 200th anniversary of Central American independence. In her recorded remarks, President Tsai thanked Taiwan's Central American diplomatic allies for continuing to speak out in support of Taiwan's international participation, and stated that Taiwan will continue working together with our allies in the region to advance our cooperation and strengthen these friendships.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the independence of Central America. On this historic occasion, I want to extend my most sincere congratulations to our Central American diplomatic allies on behalf of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, Taiwan and our allies in Central America have supported each other by sharing disease prevention equipment and expertise. Our wide-ranging collaboration has been strengthened, rather than stopped, by COVID-19.
For example, Taiwan and Guatemala have built even closer cooperation in the logistics sector, signing an arrangement on mutual recognition of authorized economic operator (AEO) certifications this past May. This agreement has simplified customs clearance procedures and streamlined import and export operations, taking our bilateral trade relationship to new heights.
Over the past few years, Taiwan has worked together with Nicaragua to promote product innovation, achieving considerable success. Earlier this year, our two countries launched the Creative Economy Accompaniment Project in Nicaragua to help develop local industry and facilitate broad-based economic development.
At the same time, Taiwan and Honduras have stepped up bilateral exchanges in healthcare. We signed a cooperation agreement this year to upgrade information technology systems at Honduran hospitals in order to provide higher quality medical treatment.
In addition, Taiwan and our Central American allies achieved a significant breakthrough in economics and trade when the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which is headquartered in Honduras, opened a regional office in Taiwan this June, becoming the first intergovernmental organization to establish an official presence in Taiwan. With this firm foundation in place, we are confident that Taiwan's economic and financial ties with our Central American allies will continue to grow.
We will continue working with each of our diplomatic allies across both the public and private sectors to spur further cooperation and exchanges. For example, we have continued to conduct student exchange programs with our Central American allies even during the pandemic. These opportunities for exchanges and interaction among our countries' youth allow us to build a better understanding of each other's cultures, and strengthen the friendships between our nations.
Finally, on behalf of the people of Taiwan, I want to take this opportunity to thank our diplomatic allies in Central America for continuing to speak out for Taiwan on the international stage, and for supporting our international participation. Once again, I want to convey my congratulations on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Central American independence. I wish the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua the best of health, and continued prosperity for your countries and peoples.