Wyoming opens Asia-Pacific trade office in Taipei

Taipei, The U.S. state of Wyoming on Wednesday opened its first foreign trade office in 30 years in Taiwan, which will also be used as a hub for the state in the Asia-Pacific region.

Speaking during a press event in Taipei on the opening of the Wyoming Asia-Pacific Trade Office, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said the decision to open the office was made following five years of preparation since his first visit to Taiwan in 2013.

The state of Wyoming has not had a foreign trade office for 30 years, according to Mead, who pledged to promote closer bilateral exchanges.

"We decided to choose Taiwan because we see the democracy, we see the warmth and hospitality of the people, and we also see the marvels; that is Taiwan," he said, adding that the country's technology advancement "has been nothing short of amazing."

He added that the choice will not only provide opportunities for both sides but also, the office will serve as a hub in the Asia-Pacific region for Wyoming to expand to this part of the world.

Mead noted that there are many commonalities shared by Wyoming and Taiwan, as both are endowed with beautiful landscapes and wonderful mountains.

Aside from bringing closer trade and investment exchanges, Mead also expressed hope that the new office will enhance close cultural and educational exchanges, as well as promote tourism. He noted that Wyoming is the first U.S. state to have a national park -- Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming is the seventh U.S. state to open a trade office in Taiwan.

It is also the first foreign trade office to open in Taiwan since 2008, according to Taiwan's foreign ministry.

Mead admitted that during a visit he made to Taiwan in 2017, he received calls from China warning him not to visit the island, which Beijing sees as part of its territory.

But he said that his state can operate independent of what China thinks.

"We believe Taiwan has been a good friend of the U.S. and certainly a good friend for Wyoming."

He said the decision to open the office is in the best interests of Wyoming's citizens and he expressed hope that it will be equally good for the citizens of Taiwan.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel