Taiwan hopes to secure a deal by the end of this year to purchase property in San Francisco to house its representative office, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.
The ministry has narrowed its choices to three properties to serve as the new location for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco, Department of General Affairs Director-General Bruce Hung (洪振榮) said.
“It is our hope that we can seal the deal with one of the properties by the end of this year,” Hung told a regular news briefing.
Moving into a new representative office will have to be completed in three years after securing the property based on regulations, he added.
A report on the procurement project that the ministry sent to lawmakers earlier this month for review showed that the ministry is allocating NT$2.2 billion (US$75.5 million) toward buying a property to use as the nation’s representative office in San Francisco.
At present, the ministry pays about US$3 million in annual rent for the office in San Francisco’s financial district at Montgomery Street — a five-minute walk from Chinatown.
To save on rent, the ministry has been searching for a permanent location to house the representative office.
The plan to purchase a San Francisco office property has been approved by the Cabinet for inclusion in the central government’s budget for this year, the ministry said.
TECO in San Francisco is one of 12 Taiwan representative offices in the US, and is in charge of Northern California, Nevada and Utah.
Taiwan has 110 overseas offices, of which only 17 are owned by the government. Since 2002, the ministry has been trying to buy office spaces overseas to save on rent.
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