Taiwan and Haiti have had diplomatic ties for 63 years as mutually supportive and staunch friends. To continue strengthening our bilateral economic and trade partnership, we held the first Taiwan Product Exhibition in Haiti last November, which was very well received by Haitians from all walks of life.
Today, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council have once again invited Taiwanese firms to come and exhibit outstanding products from Taiwan. I want to take this opportunity to offer a special thanks to our friends from Taiwanese firms for their support, working with the government to enhance exchanges and cooperation with our diplomatic allies.
Over the past two years two major Taiwanese firms—Everest Textile Company and RSI Apparel—have set up ready-to-wear clothing factories in Haiti, creating many job opportunities here. And early last year, Haiti established the first chamber of commerce for our countries in the history of our diplomatic ties—the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Haiti. This shows that economic and trade relations between Taiwan and Haiti are growing closer all the time.
We hope that our product exhibitions will be a platform to promote bilateral trade and expand product sales. Even more, we hope to provide opportunities for direct industrial and commercial exchanges between firms in our two countries, increase investments by Taiwanese firms in Haiti, boost Haiti's industrial and commercial development, and deepen bilateral cooperation and exchanges.
Taiwan and Haiti are also now promoting a project to upgrade the Haitian power grid. This is our flagship cooperation project. In a few minutes, President Jovenel Moïse and I are going to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the project's implementation status.
Energy facilities are a critical element of infrastructure. Since taking office, President Moïse has made upgrading the national power supply a policy priority. I admire his foresight, and am pleased that Taiwan can play a role in Haiti's national development.
This project is an example of win-win-win cooperation. Taiwanese banks will provide commercial financing, then Taiwan's Overseas Engineering & Construction Company (OECC) will coordinate Taiwanese electrical power experts and Haitian construction firms to carry out the project. Haiti will develop its national infrastructure, and through their project participation, Taiwanese firms will develop overseas business opportunities. And as a result, Taiwan and Haiti will develop a closer partnership.
The project involves building high-voltage, local micro-grids, and new electrical substations, and work will get underway when the Haitian Parliament approves the project. Once the project has been completed, I firmly believe it will improve the lives of the Haitian people, and stand as a symbol that Taiwan-Haiti bilateral cooperation has reached a new milestone.
Taiwan and Haiti are both seeking progress and development, and hope that more cooperation and exchanges, and our combined efforts, will spur mutual progress and development, as we continue to reach new milestones in the future.
In closing, I wish this exhibition every success. Thank you!