It is an honor to be here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the invitation of Prime Minister [Ralph] Gonsalves. Although we’ve just arrived, I can see why your national anthem calls these islands “an island so beautiful.”
On behalf of our entire delegation, I want to thank the Prime Minister for giving us such a warm welcome, and for finding time to accompany us today.
Today’s itinerary encompassed many aspects of our cooperation, and we learned a great deal.
I enjoyed a meal with members of the SVG Taiwan Alumni Association, and visited the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere with Curator Gordon Shallow, himself a Taiwan alumnus. I also witnessed developments in many of our bilateral technical cooperation projects, which have brought shared achievements in infrastructure, ICT, agriculture, education, and healthcare.
Prime Minister, I want to thank you for trusting Taiwan to take part in these important projects. We are also honored to help create brighter futures for young Vincentians.
Many students here today will be receiving scholarships to study in Taiwan. I want to be the first to welcome you to Taiwan, and wish you all the best in your studies.
We have also launched local training programs in the food and beverage, tourism, plumbing, and electricity industries. These programs are making people more competitive in the job market and spurring development in local industries.
I want to thank you for arranging the wonderful performance of local culture we just saw. In fact, we brought entertainment along with us as well, the Formosa Circus Art troupe. They will take the stage in just a few moments, and their performance will give everyone a taste of Taiwan’s diverse culture.
But first, I want to congratulate St. Vincent and the Grenadines once again on your election as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. This is a rare opportunity to advance peace and security on a global scale. I also want to thank St. Vincent and the Grenadines for your longstanding support for Taiwan, and for speaking up for our international participation.
I know that we can do even more to foster peaceful sustainable development and be a force for good in the world.
Once again, I want to thank St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the warmth and hospitality you have shown us. And on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, I want to extend an invitation to Prime Minister and Mrs. Gonsalves to visit Taiwan in the near future to cut the ribbon at your new embassy. In the meantime, I ask you all to join me in a toast: to our nations’ prosperity and everlasting friendship.