US official heading to Taiwan

WARM WELCOME:Francisco Sanchez is to attend a reception hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to celebrate the nation’s inclusion in the US Visa Waiver Program

By Shih Hsiu-Chuan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 - Page 4

US Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez is scheduled to arrive on a three-day visit to Taiwan today which coincides with the start of the US Visa Waiver Program on Thursday, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said yesterday.

Sanchez is visiting Asia to promote US President Barack Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy and the National Export Initiative, the AIT said.

Sanchez is set to deliver a speech at a lunch for members of Taiwan’s business community tomorrow and meet President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other Taiwanese officials and local business leaders.

The AIT said Sanchez would highlight opportunities arising from the new government-wide SelectUSA initiative to attract and retain investment in the US.

Sanchez is also attending a reception hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Taipei Guest House tomorrow evening to celebrate Taiwan’s inclusion in the visa-waiver program, under which Taiwanese can enter and stay in the US for up to 90 days without a visa.

The US announced the decision to include Taiwan in the program on Oct. 2.

Sanchez is to speak at the ministry’s reception, the AIT said.

In related news, to celebrate the first direct flight from Taiwan to the US after the implementation of the US Visa Waiver Program, the AIT, in cooperation with China Airlines and Taoyuan International Airport Corp, will hold a ceremony at the airport.

AIT Director Christopher Marut, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) and China Airlines chairman Chang Chia-Juch (張家祝) are scheduled to speak at the ceremony.