Taiwan, El Salvador reaffirm bilateral ties, seek to advance trade

San Salvador-The presidents of Taiwan and El Salvador reaffirmed their commitment to advancing relations between the two countries on Friday, expressing hope for further bilateral exchanges in such areas as trade.

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) met with her El Salvadoran counterpart, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, on Friday and received a medal from him. She expressed gratitude for the honor, saying that it represented the Central American country seeing Taiwan as a "close friend."

At a joint press conference following the talks, Tsai reiterated her administration's commitment to furthering cooperation between the governments and the people of the two countries and increasing efforts to advance bilateral trade relations to achieve results that are mutually beneficial.

In his remarks, Sanchez Ceren said that both countries have deepened their cooperative relationship through projects planned for 2014-2019 that cover areas of education, technology, children, tourism, energy and disaster prevention.

He also noted the potential in the growth of bilateral trade and hoped that the two countries will make better use of their free trade agreement to advance exports and imports between the two countries.

Commenting on the relations between the two diplomatic allies, Sanchez Ceren said both countries maintain a friendly relationship, adding that Tsai plays an important role in continuing to deepen bilateral ties.

Tsai, as Taiwan's first female president, is a symbol of the deep democratization of Taiwan, he said.

Following the meeting with her El Salvadoran counterpart, Tsai visited the secretariat of the Central American Integration System.

During her stay in El Salvador, Tsai and her entourage -- including Taiwanese government officials and business representatives -- also visited coffee manufacturers to learn more about the coffee industry there and tasted a cup of El Salvadoran coffee, in the company of El Salvadoran Vice President Oscar Samuel Ortiz.

In a post on her personal Facebook page, Tsai said coffee is El Salvador's most famous agricultural product. Noting that her delegation included representatives of Taiwanese coffee importers, she expressed hope that the Taiwanese public will have the opportunity to taste the high quality coffee from the Central American country.

El Salvador was the final leg of Tsai's nine-day state visit to Central America, which has taken her to Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The president is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Jan. 15., after a stopover in San Francisco.

Tsai's Central American visit is aimed at consolidating ties with Taiwan's diplomatic allies in that region and comes after the small West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Dec. 20, 2016 in favor of ties with China.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel