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Remarks by Vice Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui at the reception to celebrate the 92nd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Data Source:Department of West Asian and African Affairs
  • Date:2022-09-22

Alexander Tah-ray Yui
 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 Republic of China (Taiwan) 
 September 22, 2022
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is my honor to attend this reception hosted by the Saudi Arabian Trade Office to celebrate the 92nd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On behalf of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I wish to express our sincere congratulations to Saudi Arabia and all our Saudi friends here tonight.

Taiwan and Saudi Arabia have long enjoyed a close partnership. Saudi Arabia is Taiwan's 15th-largest trading partner worldwide and our largest  in the Middle East. Last year, bilateral trade reached 8.8 billion US dollars.

Saudi Arabia is Taiwan's largest source of crude oil as One-third of it come from the Kingdom. As a long-standing and stable supplier of energy to Taiwan, Saudi Arabia has played a critical role in advancing Taiwan's industrial development and economic growth.

You know, my Father served in our Representation in Riyadh, and he had shared with me that the Saudi's are generous and warmhearted people. If you are invited to a Saudi's house, the host will always serve you a cup of coffee and a selection of delicious dates to make you feel at home. Saudi Arabian dates are world famous for their quality. The country has over 30 million date palm trees and exports more than 300 varieties of exquisite dates each year, making Saudi Arabia one of the most important date exporters in the world.

Taiwan's Agricultural Technical Mission in Saudi Arabia is proud to participate in the country's date palm cultivation. Our mission assists in preserving important date palm varieties and cultivating rare strains that are on the verge of extinction. The team also helps reduce the use of water resources for sustainable farming.

I hope the high-quality dates of Saudi Arabia can be marketed more widely in Taiwan so that more local consumers can get to savor them, as I equally hope that more Saudis can enjoy the quality fruit products from Taiwan.

During the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwanese and Saudi medical institutions have held a number of videoconferences to exchange experiences in antipandemic measures and work together to fight the disease. With the pandemic starting to abate, at the beginning of this year Saudi Arabia listed Taiwan among the first group of countries eligible for its electronic visa program, which is very appreciated. I believe that as Taiwan will soon gradually relax its border controls, business, tourism, and cultural interactions between our peoples will return to their vibrant pre-pandemic levels, or hopefully even more so.

I am confident that through the joint efforts of our public and private sectors and specially of Representative Althaidi, together we will create prosperity and growth for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia and further strengthen the profound friendship between our two countries.

In closing, please allow me to wish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continued peace and success, and everyone here the best of health and happiness. Thank you very much.