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Remarks by Vice Minister Miguel Li-jey Tsao at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Day for Africa- African Culture, Products and Services Exhibition

  • Data Source:Department of West Asian and African Affairs
  • Date:2020-12-04

Amb. Miguel Li-jey Tsao
 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 December 4, 2020
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good afternoon!

I am very pleased to attend the 2020 Day for Africa - African Culture, Products and Services Exhibition. It is hoped that this two-day exhibition will give even more Taiwanese people a better understanding of Africa's diverse culture and products, as well as the many developments in our bilateral relations.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, brokered by the African Union, went into force on May 30 last year. Many believe this will generate huge investment potential. From January to September this year, trade between Taiwan and African countries reached 2.72 billion US dollars. We expect that bilateral trade will continue to increase, allowing both Taiwan and Africa to share the fruits of economic growth.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, we have still been able to promote economic exchanges through videoconferences and in-person meetings. These have included the Exploring Golden Opportunities in the African Continent conference, the 2020 Africa Business Forum, and the Taiwan-Africa Enterprise Forum, just to name a few. As one can see, we value Africa's unlimited business opportunities.

In addition to trade and investment relations, intergovernmental cooperation has always played a strong role in attending to the needs of our African partners. In May, we dispatched a medical mission to Eswatini to assist with the country's efforts to prevent and control the spread of the pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to Eswatini for staunchly supporting our meaningful participation in UN agencies and mechanisms, including the World Health Organization.

This year, Taiwan has made major breakthroughs in its relations with Africa. Taiwan and Somaliland have established representative offices in each other's countries. Another example is the launch of the Formosa Club in Africa, consisting of almost 200 parliamentarians from more than 20 countries including South Africa and Nigeria voicing support for Taiwan. This shows that Taiwan and African nations share the universal values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. We hope that our friends in Africa can understand that Taiwan plays an indispensable role in the international community and is willing to contribute even more to the world.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone here for your hard work and contributions to further strengthening the friendship and cooperation between Taiwan and Africa. May all of Africa enjoy peace and prosperity! Thank you.