Sun, Mar 21, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Ma embarks on seven-day visit to South Pacific

STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will record his weekly online journal overseas for the first time when he visits the Solomon Islands this week, sources from the Presidential Office said.

Ma will also host a banquet aboard a “friendship vessel” from the Navy when the ship pays a courtesy call to the Solomon Islands, the sources said.

Ma is scheduled to embark today on a seven-day visit to Taiwan’s six diplomatic allies in the South Pacific — the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Palau — with refueling stops scheduled in Guam on the outward and return flights.

American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt will meet Ma on Saturday when he is scheduled to arrive in Guam on his return flight.

OBJECTIVES

The main purpose of Ma’s trip is to promote six cooperative ventures, one in each of the diplomatic partners, the Presidential Office said.

Ma will have a packed schedule, during which he will discuss, among other topics, the impact of climate change, unveil a number of collaborative projects, it said.

All these topics were tailored to meet the needs of each country, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said earlier last week, adding that Ma would also take the opportunity to promote Taiwan-made products.

GIFTS

To this end, the president will take mobile phones manufactured by HTC, a local maker of smartphones, as gifts for senior officials in the six countries and promote solar cells made by Motech Industries, one of the top 10 solar cell manufacturers globally.

Acknowledging that the use of such devices might be limited in the six countries because of a lack of 3G mobile telecommunication infrastructure, Yang said the idea was to promote Taiwanese products.

Those phones “can take good, high-resolution photos,” he said.

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