Lawmakers launched the Taiwan-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association at the legislature yesterday to promote closer ties and expand bilateral trade with Canada.
A Canadian cross-party delegation is scheduled to arrive tomorrow for a week-long visit.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) thanked the Canadian government for voicing support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Assembly.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) Director of General Affairs Martin Laflamme addressed an audience at the legislature by discussing Canada’s long friendship and history of cultural exchanges with Taiwan, starting with the missionary work of George Leslie Mackay from 1871 until his death in 1901.
Since then, the close relations have fostered many generations of Taiwanese to settle in Canada, Laflamme said.
He added that Canada and Taiwan also share many values, including human rights, democracy, freedom, inclusiveness and diversity.
A number of DPP lawmakers attended the event, along with Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Jih-jia (林志嘉), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui (俞大?) and Overseas Community Affairs Council Deputy Minister Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青).
Chen is head of the amity Association, with Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫?) appointed honorary chairman, and several DPP legislators acting in deputy chair roles, including Mark Ho (何志偉), Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) and Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應).
The association comprises 51 lawmakers from across the party spectrum, with more being recruited, Chen said.
Also at the event, Chung inaugurated the Canada, Malaysia, and Taiwan Inter-Country Economic and Trade Promotion Association, comprising lawmakers, government officials and members of the business community.
Chung said he visited Canada this summer before heading to Malaysia to meet with local government officials, adding that he met with members of Taiwanese communities in both countries.
Taiwan has robust room for trade growth with Canada and Malaysia, with both countries being members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and Taiwan having bolstered ties with Malaysia through New Southbound Policy programs, Chung said.
“We hope Canada and Malaysia can help in Taiwan’s effort to join the CPTPP,” Chung said, adding that Taiwan is well situated between the northern and tropical nations.
The five members of the Canadian delegation scheduled to arrive tomorrow include members of parliament Judy Sgro, chair of the Canada-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, Angelo Iacono, Chris Lewis, Richard Martel and Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay.
CTOT officials presented a video greeting from Sgro, along with friendship messages by Canadian Senator Michael MacDonald and Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Chong (莊文浩).
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