Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday arrived in Tel Aviv for a four-day visit and was scheduled to make his first stop at an Israeli company developing automatic guided vehicles.
Before boarding his flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Saturday evening, Ko said he was visiting Israel to honor an invitation by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to attend the 33rd annual International Mayors’ Conference.
Ko said he wanted to visit the company because Israel is famous for its robust ventures and start-ups, adding that he would also visit the Weizmann Institute of Science, which is similar to Academia Sinica.
The Israeli institute has six Nobel Prize laureate members, Ko said, adding that it is impressive that Israel, which has a population of about 9 million, has several Nobel Prize winners.
He said he was more interested in visiting the research institute because he is a university professor.
Ko is scheduled to visit Mobileye NV in Jerusalem, attend the conference’s opening ceremony and a dinner event in the evening, and attend a moonlight tour of the old city, accompanied by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.
He would also meet with Israeli lawmakers and has especially asked to meet those familiar with national defense policies, the Taipei City Government said.
Separately yesterday, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) left for Kuala Lumpur on a five-day visit to Malaysia and Singapore to promote the city’s agricultural products and tourist attractions.
It is Han’s first official overseas visit since his victory in the local elections in November last year, which ended the Democratic Progressive Party’s 20-year governance of the city and delivered it to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Before departing from Taoyuan airport, Han said that he would focus on seeking distribution channels and orders for Kaohsiung’s farm and fishery products, adding that he also hopes to convey the message that “Kaohsiung is opening its arms to all cities, nations and territories” of the world.
He plans to meet with Taiwanese expats and entrepreneurs in Malaysia and Singapore, and “introduce the new and vibrant Kaohsiung to them,” he added.
Meanwhile, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), who is seeking the KMT’s nomination in next year’s presidential election, returned home yesterday after concluding an eight-day visit to Silicon Valley in California.
Upon his arrival at Taoyuan airport, Chu said that he visited 13 major enterprises with links to Taiwan’s new economy, and met with Taiwanese entrepreneurs, engineers, students, high-tech professionals and compatriots in Silicon Valley.
His visits and meetings were aimed at finding a new direction to boost Taiwan’s economy, he said.
He also visited Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, Chu said.
At Stanford, he delivered a speech on developing Taiwan’s new economy, which refers to new, high-growth industries that are on the cutting edge of technology and are the driving force of economic growth, he said.
In his speech, he explained his plan to drive the nation’s economy by using “three engines” — the start-up economy, the cultural economy and the living economy — Chu said.
In terms of promoting the start-up economy, Chu expressed the hope that the movement of talent, technology and capital in Taiwan will be as free as in Silicon Valley.
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