Visiting Saint Lucia Deputy Prime Minister Ernest Hilaire said Monday that his five-day visit to Taiwan is intended to thank the country for being a “very special friend of St. Lucia” and explore ways to deepen the two sides’ already cordial relationship.
Speaking to local media at the St. Lucian embassy in Taipei, Hilaire said the main goal of his first Taiwan visit is to “express our appreciation and gratitude” to the government and people of Taiwan for the assistance and support they have given to his country.
“Taiwan is a very special friend of St. Lucia,” Hilaire said, adding that the allies maintain strong bilateral relations in a number of areas.
The second objective of his ongoing visit from Monday to Friday is to talk with Taiwan’s government and private businesses about how to deepen those relations in terms of agriculture and healthcare systems, as well as in the field of creative industry and cultural exchanges, according to the St. Lucia official.
Hilaire, who doubles as the Caribbean nation’s minister for tourism, investment, creative industries, culture and information, said Taiwan is known for its advancements in terms of creative industries.
Earlier Monday, he visited an old wooden Japanese house-turned café at Taipei’s tourism hotspot Yongkang Street.
Just by studying these examples in Taiwan, Hilaire said St. Lucia can learn to transfer the Caribbean country’s historical relics into tourism attractions.
Meanwhile, on St. Lucia’s diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, the official name of Taiwan, the deputy prime minister said his government recognizes its “unique relationship” with Taiwan.
“If you go to St. Lucia, and you visited communities in a very direct way, you can see the benefits of that relationship with Taiwan; you will literally walk through the communities and you will see footpaths, roads, retaining walls, you see school repair, you see housing repair,” he noted.
“There’s so much you can see in the landscape of St. Lucia, that’s a direct relationship with Taiwan,” he added.
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