Taiwan and Saint Lucia strengthen bond
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,