Expo Taiwan 2019

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This past weekend, the Embassy of Taiwan held EXPO Taiwan 2019 at the Caribbean Motors showroom located on the Philip Goldson Highway. The purpose of the EXPO was to introduce Belizeans and other attendees to the quality products from Taiwan, so as to pave the way for a more mutually reciprocal business and trade relationship between Belize and Taiwan. EXPO 2019 saw as many as ten Taiwanese enterprises which showcased their latest products and tools, which could easily be incorporated into the Belizean market. Those items included smart remote controls, power switches, adapter plugs, traffic safety facility, kitchenware, Bluetooth speakers, exercise equipment, jewelry, foods, and other high-quality products.
The official opening of the EXPO was held on Friday, November 1, 2019 where Ambassador Remus Li-Kuo Chen was joined by Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton, Minister of State for Investment, Trade, and Commerce; Kim Aikman, Chief Executive Officer at the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry; other public and private sector representatives; distinguished guests; and visitors and manufacturers from Taiwan. Ambassador Chen, says that this event fosters an even stronger relationship between the governments and people of Belize and Taiwan, especially in this, our 30th year of established diplomatic relations between the countries. The EXPO was also developed to encourage the pursuing of the Economic Cooperation Agreement between the countries, which further enhances trade through the reductions of tariffs and elimination of other barriers that might make trade difficult. Ambassador Chen says that agreement can then pave the way to exchange products between the countries, increasing foreign exchange and opening job markets. All in all, the EXPO and events like it benefit both the host and guest country. “Having more trade and more events like this is an opportunity to better off each other’s potentials and I believe that after this and many other efforts that we have already been engaged with our counter parts here, there will be a lot of opportunities for Belize and Taiwan in terms of our business relationship and trade relationship,” he said.
Minister Wilfred Elrington shared the same sentiments, and even went as far as saying that since Ambassador Chen’s arrival in the country, we have seen an acceleration of activity between the two countries. Those activities, he says, are geared at enhancing the economic performance. The EXPO is simply one of those activities, one he hopes that can continue to strengthen the relationship between Belize and Taiwan.
Minster of State for Investment, Trade, and Commerce, Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, has also done her fair share in her ministry to foster the relationship between Belize and Taiwan. Just this year, there have been two Trade Missions which saw investors from the Republic of China (Taiwan), both in Taiwan and North America, come to Belize with the objective of increasing foreign direct investments in prioritized industries, and generate positive socio-economic impact in Belize. The missions seek to explore investment opportunities in Belize’s sectors, just as the EXPO intended to do. That EXPO, says the minister, simply deepens and strengthens the already existing ties between Belize and Taiwan. She says that when Ambassador Chen first arrived in country, there were talks between the two of them to further carry on those ties through her ministry and Ambassadors Chen “took off at a neck-breaking pace.” As a result of the commitment of both the governments and people of Belize and Taiwan, there have been quite a number of opportunities to reinforce those economic ties, including the trade missions.
On November 1, 2019, a team of thirteen public officers left Belize for the first round of negations with their Taiwanese counterparts for the Economic Cooperation Agreement. Minister Panton says that they are very hopeful that while the initial plan is for three rounds of negotiations, there will only be the need for one. The Government and people of Taiwan continue to be helpful as it pertains to Belize’s economic agenda, sharing in projects in most important sectors in Belize.