Tsai meets Honduras 1st vice president, calls for closer trade ties

President Tsai Ing-wen met June 21 with Honduras First Vice President Ricardo Antonio Alvarez Arias at the Office of the President in Taipei City, calling for the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the ROC Central American diplomatic ally to forge closer economic and trade ties.

The ROC and Honduras should pursue an expanded array of practical opportunities to deepen bilateral economic and trade ties so as to maximize mutual benefits stemming from a free trade agreement between the two nations that took force in 2008, Tsai said.

Arias and his five-member delegation is visiting Taiwan June 20-25 to promote the country's coffee and other key agricultural exports at Taipei International Food Show, as well as conduct fact-finding tours of local enterprises, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The president said a review of relevant ROC government regulations is underway in an effort to identify and eliminate any barriers to bilateral trade under the FTA. This involves the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture looking at ways to improve procedures for importing a wider range of Honduras agricultural products, including beef and melons.

Tsai said she has exchanged opinions on a number of related issues of mutual interest with Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez during their three meetings since taking office in May last year. These include measures aimed at boosting economic collaboration, identifying investment opportunities and strengthening trade ties.

The ROC's public and private sectors have sent numerous trade groups to Honduras, especially for the purpose of purchasing coffee, since the establishment of official ties 75 years ago, the president said.

Tsai also expressed gratitude to Honduras for supporting Taiwan's participation in U.N. specialized agencies like International Civil Aviation Organization and World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, as well as U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It is hoped Honduras will continue backing Taiwan's bid to make a bigger contribution to the global community, she added.

Source: Taiwan Today