TAIPEI, (CNA).- Taiwan is hoping to forge closer cooperation with countries in Central America in several fields, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said Tuesday while receiving the visiting president of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).
"Over the years, Parlacen has demonstrated support for Taiwan at various international events," Chen said during his meeting with Parlacen President Irma Segunda Amaya Echeverría at the Presidential Office.
Chen said that over the past 20 years, Taiwan has participated in more than 120 regional cooperation schemes through the Central American Integration System (SICA), as it sought to deepen cooperation with its Central American allies in the areas of infrastructure, medical health, education and agriculture.
Since Amaya took over the helm of the regional assembly of SICA last October, she has been promoting regional integration and development, with a focus on issues such as gender equality, the right of women to participate in politics, immigration and human rights, Chen noted.
"As a member of the global village, Taiwan is willing and able to contribute to the international community," Chen said, expressing the hope that Parlacen will continue its solid support for Taiwan in the international arena.
He said Central America is a key region in Taiwan's global strategic planning and that is why the government has sent several investment assessment teams to the region and has been encouraging Taiwanese businessmen to invest there.
"We also look forward to expanding our cooperation with Central America in various areas in the future," he said.
Amaya arrived in Taiwan on Monday at the head of a five-member delegation on a five-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral and multilateral parliamentary exchanges.
She was received by Chen as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had to change her schedule to make some impromptu inspections of flood prevention facilities amid torrential downpours brought by a typical weather front in the current plum rain season.
Founded in 1991, Parlacen six member states are Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic, while Taiwan has observer status in the body.
Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua remain the only three diplomatic allies of Taiwan in Parlacen, since the other three switched recognition to China between 2017 and 2018.
(By Stacy Hsu)