Taiwan and the US yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding on the Global Cooperation Training Framework to enhance bilateral cooperation in responding to global challenges, a move visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin said would “take our partnership to new areas and a new level.”
Before witnessing the signing ceremony at the Taipei Guest House, Rivkin had a closed-door meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at the Presidential Office Building to discuss what he said were “matters of importance to our economies.”
Rivkin, responsible for managing trade negotiations, investment treaties and other economic issues at the US Department of State, is the highest-ranking official to have visited Taiwan since his predecessor Jose Fernandez in 2012.
In remarks to reporters before his meeting with Ma, Rivkin said people in the US feel “a special bond” with Taiwanese for various reasons.
People in the US admire the robust, prosperous, orderly and free society Taiwan has built, and they share a belief that creating an environment conducive to expansive entrepreneurial activity and innovation is important to continuing economic prosperity, Rivkin said.
Citing statements made recently by various US officials on Taiwan-US relations, Ma said he was “positive” about Taiwan’s chances as a second-round candidate to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ma said he hoped negotiations over a bilateral investment agreement would gain ground.
Rivkin told attendees to the signing ceremony that the framework would not only support broader Taiwan-US relations, but also serve as a platform to enhance their joint engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Under the framework, “two like-minded partners will work to create new opportunities to demonstrate the meaning of global citizenship,” Rivkin said.
“The framework is a milestone that will bring into full focus Taiwan’s dramatic transformation from an international aid recipient to an aid provider. This framework will provide Taiwan [with] a new venue to tell its story in a way that may inspire others to follow its successful development path,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Kao (高振群) said Rivkin’s attendance of the ceremony was a testament to the strength of Taiwan-US relations.
Taiwan has much to offer to the international community in food security, global health, technical training, economic development and humanitarian assistance, Kao said.
“With this ever-expanding partnership with the US, we will work harder to create tangible and mutually beneficial outcomes for the region and the world,” Kao said.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by American Institute in Taiwan Director Christopher Marut and Coordination Council for North American Affairs Chairperson Katherine Chang (張小月).
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