Sun, Jan 20, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan, Paraguay sign five-year, US$150m deal

NEGOTIATIONS:Taiwanese firms would have priority when bidding for contracts covered by the agreement, which includes housing and humanitarian aid projects

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen,left, walks next to Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez at Liberty Square in Taipei on Oct. 8 last year.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Taiwan and Paraguay have signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) worth US$150 million, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday.

After months of negotiations, the MOU was signed in the South American diplomatic ally’s capital, Asuncion, on Dec. 14, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.

Lee said the deal focuses on projects related to humanitarian and social aid, education, housing and infrastructure that can meet the Paraguayan government’s expectations and benefit its people.

“Taiwanese and Paraguayan firms will enjoy priority when bidding on contracts for the projects, which have to use products from Taiwanese brands, creating a win-win situation,” Lee said.

The two nations’ intent to sign the MOU was unveiled by Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, who after a state visit to Taiwan in October last year said on Twitter that Taiwan had agreed to invest US$150 million in his nation to boost economic, infrastructure and education development.

Taiwan was the first nation Abdo Benitez visited after he was inaugurated in August last year at a ceremony attended by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Lee said, adding that at the UN General Assembly in New York in September last year Paraguay spoke out for Taiwan’s bid to join the body.

After taking office, Abdo Benitez expressed the hope that in addition to an existing project to build 4,500 homes in 39 communities in 16 Paraguayan provinces, Taiwan could also assist with the promotion of education, social welfare and medical services, Lee said.

Taiwan and Paraguay in August last year jointly established the Taiwan-Paraguay Polytechnic University (Universidad Politecnica Taiwan-Paraguay) in the South American nation, with funds for construction provided by Asuncion, while teachers, curriculums and lab equipment are to be provided by the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

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