Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 07, 2016 (SKNIS): The Republic of China (Taiwan) has significantly impacted the landscape of the Federation which is “the result of a wonderful and enduring friendship that both countries have had for the past 32 years”, said Her Excellency (H.E.) Jasmine Huggins, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan).
During a press conference held as part of Diplomatic Week 2016 on Monday, April 04, Ambassador Huggins noted that Taiwan was the first country St. Kitts and Nevis established diplomatic relations with after the Federation became independent. She said that a number of factors contributed to the commitment that both countries share.
“That (commitment) was based on our common values, the respect for diplomatic principles, rule of law and respect for human rights,” said the ambassador, while adding that a decision was made to establish an Embassy in Taiwan in 2008. “As a result of that decision, we have seen a tremendous boost in the strengthening of our relationship.”
Ambassador Huggins said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations a number of areas were looked at such as renewable energy and education, just to name a few.
“We have also worked with Taiwan in the area of the provisions of scholarships for many of our students,” she said. “Currently, there are 46 students from the Federation studying in Taiwan. We have had students who have been in Taiwan and who have returned home and have been making great contribution to the Federation.”
H.E. Huggins touched on the area of tourism and stated that annually the St. Kitts and Nevis Embassy in Taiwan participates in the International Travel Fair that brings together thousands of people from South-East Asia to Taipei. She said that the Federation is exposed during this time, as thousands of people visit the booth to learn more about the islands.
She stated that the idea of trade missions will be looked into in order for them to visit St. Kitts and Nevis to interact with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC).
“The Chamber of Industry and Commerce was in Taiwan in February 2016 and they have made linkages with certain businesses,” said Ambassador Huggins. “We will be hoping that a trade mission will come from Taiwan to the Federation and then we will be able to build on what we were able to achieve with the visit from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.”
Over the years, Taiwan has significantly contributed to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis in areas including agriculture, renewable energy, education, public safety and security, health, sports, information technology and community development.