Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia strengthen bond

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Asis­ter-city agree­ment has been singed be­tween Cas­tries and Taipei, the cap­i­tal of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan). The sign­ing took place at the Of­fice of the Mayor of Cas­tries on Thurs­day.

"This morn­ing marks a new mile­stone be­tween Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia," Tai­wanese am­bas­sador Dou­glas Shen said. "This marks not only the cul­mi­na­tion of re­lent­less ef­forts by the staff of both cities but also the in­cep­tion of more mu­tu­ally-ben­e­fi­cial co-op­er­a­tion be­tween the two cities."

He added: "Cas­tries, like Taipei city, is one of the most beau­ti­ful cap­i­tals in the world. Let me also take this op­por­tu­nity to re­as­sure you that Tai­wan is com­mit­ted to pro­vide what­ever sup­port we can to help Cas­tries be­come even more beau­ti­ful. Over the years, Tai­wan's do­na­tions have helped bring about the Derek Wal­cott House, the In­for­ma­tion, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion & Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre, the GINET project, and many oth­ers."

In clos­ing, the am­bas­sador stated: "Taipei has a lot of best prac­tices to of­fer in terms of mu­nic­i­pal in­fra­struc­ture and the man­age­ment. In the years to come, we can an­tic­i­pate more in­ter­ac­tions and joint projects be­tween Cas­tries and Taipei, to share ex­pe­ri­ence, ex­per­tise and re­sources.”

A beam­ing Mayor Peter­son Fran­cis re­sponded, “We are thrilled and hon­oured to take your hand in mar­riage as we un­der­take the voy­age of de­vel­op­ing our city and seek to bring qual­ity fa­cil­i­ties, pro­grammes and projects.”

The Mayor urged those in­volved: “Let it be a part­ner­ship, which con­trib­utes mean­ing­fully, and strength­ens the joint co-op­er­a­tion agree­ment that ex­its be­tween Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia.”

One area of fo­cus the mayor out­lined was that of safety: “One of our most im­por­tant pri­or­i­ties within Cas­tries and Saint Lu­cia is the safety of our cit­i­zens and vis­i­tors. We will chal­lenge our­selves in work­ing hard to share our ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion to tackle de­vel­op­ment chal­lenges.”

Also in at­ten­dance was the min­is­ter for lo­cal gov­ern­ment, For­tuna Bel­rose, who pledged her sup­port and de­scribed the agree­ment as “an op­por­tu­nity for cul­tural ex­changes, tourism de­vel­op­ment and for our arts and craft in­dus­try to blos­som.”

De­spite the neg­a­tive ru­mours per­tain­ing to their re­la­tion­ship, Bel­rose said: “Mayor, of course we want to com­mend you and your team for the great work that you're con­tin­u­ing to do. As we look to take our city to new heights, we look for­ward to en­sur­ing that the re­la­tion­ship mush­rooms in the way we want."

Mayor Peter­son Fran­cis (left) and Tai­wanese am­bas­sador Dou­glas Shen af­ter sign­ing a sis­ter-city agree­ment,

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