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.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
“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.
‘GOOD SIGN’: Thanks to public efforts, the number of COVID-19 cases is on a downward trend, the minister of health said, but told people not to let their guard down The COVID-19 situation appears to be relatively stable and on a downward trend, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, as he reported 185 domestic COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. “This seems to be a relatively good sign,” Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a daily news briefing. In Taipei and New Taipei City, the overall situation seems to be heading in a good direction, he added. He attributed it to public efforts to control the spread of the virus, but warned people against letting their guard down. Of the new local cases, 83 are males and
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
The EU is set to lift travel restrictions for US and Taiwanese residents as soon as this week, in the latest step toward a return to normal, despite concerns over the spread of potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants. Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, proposed adding Taiwan, the US, Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Serbia to a so-called “white list” of countries from which non-essential travel to the bloc is allowed, a diplomat familiar with the matter said. Assuming no objections, EU government envoys in Brussels would today approve the expanded
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early