Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌)is to leave today on a 10-day trip to Guatemala, Paraguay and Houston, Texas, officials said yesterday.
Hau is expected to meet with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes to promote city-to-city exchanges on vocational training and social welfare policies. He is also scheduled to meet with Houston Mayor Annise Parker to enhance the sister-city tiewith Houston, Taipei City Government spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強).
His delegation includes Taipei Department of Labor Affairs Commissioner Chen Yeh-shin (陳業鑫) and three Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) city councilors.
The group is scheduled to return home on Jan. 20.
Hau is taking along several products featuring Taipei Zoo panda cub Yuan Zai (圓仔) as gifts for the delegation’s hosts.
The latest Yuan Zai-related item from the zoo, promoted by the mayor yesterday, is a “lucky coin” red envelop featuring a picture of the cub.
The city government has prepared 20,000 of the envelopes, which Hau will distribute during the Lunar New Year holidays when he visits temples or attends city activities, Chang said.
When asked whether the city will prepare red envelopes designed for the Year of the Horse, the Chinese zodiac sign for the coming lunar year, Chang said Hau will only use the panda-themed envelopes, but some departments might prepare horse-themed ones.