Sun, May 04, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Businesspeople pledge support for bid


Taiwan businesspeople in Europe decided on Friday to launch a "one man, one letter" movement to campaign in support of Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Organization (WHO).

The decision was made at the ninth annual convention of the European Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in which more than 80 representatives of Taiwan business organizations in European nations, South Africa and Paraguay participated.

Patricio Li (黎萬棠), president of the European Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, said that participants of the meeting will launch the movement when they return to their respective host nations by writing to lawmakers in the constituencies in which they reside to urge them to support Taiwan's WHO bid.

Li said Taiwan businesspeople in Europe will also promote Taiwan's tourism industry in their resident countries to woo more foreign tourists to visit Taiwan.

When addressing the one-day meeting, Chang Fu-mei (張富美), chairwoman of the Cabinet-level Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, encouraged the Taiwan businesspeople to help the Taiwan government conduct pragmatic people-to-people diplomacy and to enhance the nation's substantive foreign relations.

She also spoke to the Taiwan businesspeople about the recent developments in cross-strait relations and the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in Taiwan, assuring them that Taiwan can tide over the challenges brought by SARS and the nation's relationship with China.

Chang conveyed President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) regards to the Taiwan businesspeople and wished the meeting great success.

Lan Chih-min (藍智民), representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Madrid, Spain and who is Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Spain in the absence of formal ties, hosted a dinner party for the participants.

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