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Remarks by Vice Minister Li-kuo Chen at a celebration of the 28th anniversary of the Latin American Business Council

  • Data Source:Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs
  • Date:2023-12-13

Li-Kuo Chen

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

Republic of China (Taiwan)

December 13, 2023

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good evening!

  • As we close out 2023, it is a great honor for me to attend today’s event on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is also my first event organized by LABC since I return to Taiwan. I would like to take the opportunity to engage with all the distinguished business leaders here tonight and hope that all participating enterprises will make the most of this opportunity and interact with the Ambassadors and Representatives of various countries stationed in Taiwan, so as to further friendly ties.

  • Latin America is an emerging market with great potential. It has a rich variety of natural resources and abundant human resources. It plays an important role in global industry chains. Since 2006, Taiwan has signed free trade agreements or economic cooperation agreements (ECA) with Guatemala and Paraguay. An ECA between Taiwan and Belize came into effect last January. Through lower tariffs on goods and trade facilitation measures, bilateral relations will continue to deepen and each country will enjoy complementary industrial advantages. From this January to October, imports and exports between Taiwan and Latin America reached 13.66 billion US dollars. We expect this growth to continue in the future. The prospects for business are promising.

  • To deepen economic and trade relations with various countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has long encouraged associations to organize trade inspection tours, participate in various overseas trade fairs, and hold business opportunity seminars to strengthen bilateral collaboration. Taking Latin America and the Caribbean countries as an example, this February the MOFA collaborated with an association organizing “Paraguayan Meat Products Promotion and Investment Opportunities Seminar” during the state visit of former Paraguayan President Abdo to Taiwan. 

  • And this April, a “Guatemalan Investment and Trade Opportunities Seminar” was held during the state visit of the Guatemalan President Giammattei to Taiwan. 

  • In May, a similar event was organized during the visit of Saint Lucia's Deputy Prime Minister Hilaire as well. 

  • Additionally, during the visit of Paraguay's newly elected President Peña in July, a “Taiwan-Paraguay Industry Seminar & Luncheon” was conducted. All of these showcasing Taiwan's determination to step up cooperation with Latin America, and it has always been a crucial goal for MOFA and Taiwan government. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you for attending and supporting all of the economic and trade activities organized by MOFA.

  • In response to the international climate change concerns and the global shared goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Taiwan makes the most of its competitive industries in implementing various sustainable development policies to meet international standards. Taiwan has capability in electric vehicles, circular economy, solar energy, hydrogen energy, and energy storage industries, which will complement the industrial collaboration with various countries especially Latin America, the region with the abundant clean energy resources.

  • Despite of emerging industries such as green energy technology, traditional industries serve as a cornerstone for Taiwan's economic development as well. To further align Taiwanese firms and companies with the global trend of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, the Taiwan government continues to make industrial policies work for development and industry upgrading to assist the firms and companies to expand business opportunities globally; Meanwhile, Taiwan government would like to leverage the expertise of Taiwanese enterprises to facilitate international exchanges on ESG issues. Furthermore, advices and feedbacks to the national green energy and net-zero carbon emissions policies are all welcomed.

  • Since LABC’s establishment in 1995, and under the leadership of successive chairpersons and their teams, LABC has become an important bridge for bolstering trade and investment cooperation between Taiwan and Latin America. Strengthening connections and cooperation between Taiwan and Central and South America has always been a key government policy. I look forward LABC to keeping the enthusiasm and stepping up the collaboration with Latin America. 

  • Once again, I would like to thank Chairperson Wang for her dedication and for maintaining friendships with Ambassadors from Central and South America and other representatives stationed in Taiwan. I would also like to thank her for helping further our economic and trade diplomacy. In closing, I wish LABC and all of you all the best and every success in business. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you!