Sat, Jun 22, 2019 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan is important to Honduras

By Juan Fernando Herrera Ramos

Honduran Second Vice President Olga Alvarado on May 31 met with a group of young Hondurans from all over Taiwan to honor them and recognize their contributions and hard work. The event was organized by the Honduran embassy in Taipei, in collaboration with members of the Honduran Association in Taiwan.

It took place on the last day of a five-day state visit — Alvarado’s first trip to the nation — during which she and a Honduran delegation of seven members met with Taiwanese officials and visited different nonprofit organizations to talk about bilateral cooperation in fields including agriculture, education and public health.

Alvarado has served as Honduran youth minister, and social integration and development deputy minister, and as someone who has always been involved in youth activities, she made time to attend the ceremony and deliver appreciation certificates to the awardees.

Some were sportspeople, such as Elias Argueta, Javier Funes and Daniel Torres, who all play for the Taiwan Football Premier League.

Mario Caceres, the first foreign cadet to be allowed to carry the Taiwanese flag at an official event for his outstanding performance at his military school, was also honored.

Certificates were also given to Hondurans who are helping to develop the business ties between Honduras and Taiwan, such as Christian Reyes, who recently opened up a coffee shop called Nigen Coffee in Taoyuan.

The members of the Honduran Cultural Group and the Honduran Association in Taiwan were given special recognition.

Alvarado’s visit shows that the Central American country intends to maintain a good, long-lasting relationship with Taiwan and recognizes Taiwan’s collaboration in areas such as education, healthcare and agriculture since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1941.

Alvarado on May 28 met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). They discussed different cooperation projects to improve the global health network and achieve sustainable development, and Tsai thanked Honduras for speaking up on Taiwan’s behalf at the World Health Assembly.

Tsai said that cooperation between the two countries has continued to grow steadily and cited the Honduran avocado program for as an example.

State-run Taiwan Agriculture Investment Co recently opened a subsidiary in Honduras to help Hondurans improve their avocado production and marketing capabilities, she said.

This is not the first time that Alvarado and Tsai have discussed the topic; they talked about avocados and coffee when they met in Paraguay.

At the time, National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) gave a brief description of their plan for Honduran avocados.

“This includes helping Honduras develop healthy avocado seedlings, and helping with the entire process of production, marketing and purchasing. In the short term, these high-quality avocados will be marketed to neighboring markets,” Tsai Ming-yen said. “In the long term, we hope Taiwan can become the Honduran marketing headquarters in Asia.”

Taiwan is also helping Honduras improve its coffee industry. Taiwan Sugar Corp is already working with some Honduran farmers to build their coffee brands, and Honduran coffee can already be purchased on the Taiwan High Speed Rail.

Alvarado’s visit is positive with regards to the relationship between the two countries, and comes a few months after former Honduran ambassador to Taiwan Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada moved on to a new assignment in Washington.

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