PRIME Minister Rick Hou says the bilateral friendship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan is growing steadily and cordial over the years.
He was speaking during the celebration of the Taiwan day hosted at Mendana Hotel one Tuesday night. Taiwan day falls every October 10 commonly known as ‘Double ten’.
“Solomon Islands and Taiwan established diplomatic relations 35 years ago and over these years our friendship has grown steadily allowing us to jointly see the best of the sunlight and the worst of the storms, signifying Taiwan’s outstanding role as a traditional and loyal friend to our country,” Prime Minister Hou said.
He added he is confident that this relationship is based on mutual and beneficial constructiveness, social cooperation and a shared vision for progress and prosperity of our peoples.
“My government is committed to maintaining and further consolidating and strengthening our relations,” he said.
PM Hou said that politically Taiwan has displayed worthy assistance in the creation of cooperative arrangements in various sectors over the years and Ambassador Luo has made mentioned of some important areas of assistance provided by the Taiwan government in the last 12months.
“On this note, allow me to acknowledge and express deep gratitude for Taiwan’s support in its engagement as a trusted partner and realising our national priorities and ambitions through support towards tangible developments such as:
– People to people engagements
– Medical programs and rural assistance, especially in supporting the country during period of the shortage of medical supplies recently;
– Agricultural programs through the Taiwanese technical mission in Honiara and now in Malaita;
– Trade and investment;
– Offering of fully funded scholarships that continuous to assist in building and upgrading our human capital;
– Climate change; and;
– Infrastructure, in particular the assistance towards our 2023 Pacific Games Main Stadium and funding towards the construction of the National Crafts Centre at the National Art Gallery.
PM Hou said that the two mentioned infrastructure project support programmes will boost Solomon Islands sportsmanship and craftsmanship around the region and will foster the growth and development of the sporting and cultural industries in the Solomon Islands.
He said that his government looks forward to the grand opening of the national crafts centre in early November 2018 – signifying yet another milestone achievement towards efforts in their cooperation.
By LESLEY SANGA