Deputy Prime Minister Phillip Pierre is hoping that a visit by the Republic of China (Taiwan) President Ma Ying-jeou will deepen relations between St. Lucia and Taiwan.
The president arrived in St. Lucia aboard a China Airways flight at the Hewanorra International Airport at about 10 p.m. on Thursday night.
Pierre was speaking on the tarmac of the airport where he led a government delegation to welcome the Taiwanese President.
“The relationships are growing. They are based on mutual respect for each other and we are very pleased with the way it has worked so far. We think Ambassador Chang is a wonderful ambassador and I am sure it will only go from strength to strength,” he said.
Pierre further conveyed government’s appreciation for the assistance which Taiwan has extended to St. Lucia over the years, in particular, funding for the ongoing Constituency Development Program which he said is benefiting all constituencies.
According to deputy prime minister, President Ma is expected to receive courtesies of the “highest level” during his visit.
“We’re gonna be paying full attention to it and show the best side of St. Lucian hospitality,” Pierre said.
During his visit, the Taiwanese leader is expected to join St. Lucia in signing a joint communiqué which will signal their respective governments’ desire to foster closer ties in the future.
This is President Ma’s first visit to Saint Lucia since assuming office and the second visit by a Taiwanese president since the re-establishment of relations in 2007, according to a previous government release.
Government has invited Ma to address a joint sitting of the Senate and House of Assembly today, Friday August 16, 2013.