The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade welcomed the newly accredited Resident Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, H.E. Mr. Peter Shai-Li Lan.
On Monday, 13th September 2021, H.E. Mr. Peter Sha-Li Lan, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented Letters of Credence to Her Excellency, Dame Susan Dougan, Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Ambassador Lan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Harvard University in the United States of America. Ambassador Lan has an extensive career in health and diplomacy and held the post of Deputy Representative of the Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia and former Deputy Director-General, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROC (Taiwan).
On Tuesday,14th September 2021 Ambassador Lan made his first public appearance as the newly appointed Ambassador, ROC (Taiwan) by handing over grant assistance in the sum of US$1,288,527.00 on behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Government and People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The grant agreement which was signed by this country’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, National Security, Legal Affairs and Information, Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves, will be used for procuring
equipment that would be used by the Ministry of Transport and BRAGSA in the ongoing cleanup process following the aftermath of the explosive eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano.
Hon. Montgomery Daniel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works, Lands and Physical Planning, Senator The Hon. Keisal Peters, Minister of State with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Mr. Kem Bartholomew, Chief Executive Officer, Building Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) attended the ceremony.
During the brief remarks, Ambassador Lan noted the efforts of Taiwan in providing assistance for the relief and recovery efforts after the eruption in the form of relief grants, medical equipment and humanitarian supplies. Ambassador Lan also highlighted that the assistance to SVG will continue since this country is currently in the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase following the volcanic eruption. Taiwan is currently providing support for three major projects in SVG which are: (1) the grant for the procurement of heavy equipment, (2) the repairing of the Rabacca bridge, (3) the river cleaning and debris removal (currently under review and preparation). Ambassador Lan wishes success in the clean-up process and reaffirmed Taiwan’s commitment to assisting this country.
Prime Minister, Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves noted that Taiwan proposed a certain sum of monetary assistance for the cleaning up process. Prime Minister highlighted that “our relations are such that we accept the generosity of our friends but within that generous disposition the Government advises the best way to use the assistance being given. We always found Taiwan to be flexible in this regard.” Prime Minister Gonsalves recognised Taiwan’s effort to assist this country during the COVID-19 pandemic including the provision of 40,000 surgical masks, 6 thermal imaging devices which are currently still in use at Argyle International Airport (AIA) for temperature checks, 30 sets of oxygen concentrators, and more. Similarly, following the 2021 La Soufrière eruptions, ROC (Taiwan) gave US$300,000.00 and pledged to collaborate with the Government and People of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the rehabilitation and the reconstruction process. Prime Minister Gonsalves noted that the handing over of the grant of US$1,288,527.00 that will be used for the procurement of the heavy equipment is Taiwan honouring its pledge towards the rehabilitation process. Prime Minister Gonsalves also highlighted other significant projects such as the Taiwan-Employment Gold Card that has been approved by Cabinet that will be done in collaboration with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and this country. Prime Minister Gonsalves thanked the President, the Government and People of Taiwan for their continuous support and generosity to this country and noted that the friendship between this country and the Republic of China (Taiwan) is an enduring friendship.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works, Lands and Physical Planning, Hon. Montgomery Daniel during his remarks also highlighted the grim effects of the explosive eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano and expressed that BRAGSA, a state-owned company was given the mandate to clean all of St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the aftermath of the eruption and have been working steadily. Minister Daniel also noted that the equipment that was being used during the cleanup process became very faulty and so BRAGSA called on the Ministry of Transport to assist in procuring suitable equipment. Minister Daniel also expressed thanks to the Government and People of Taiwan for their assistance in the relief, recovery and rehabilitation exercise especially for repairing the Rabacca bridge which provide the connectivity route for persons living on that side of the island with the remaining population of SVG. The Rabacca bridge was damaged due to the lahars from the explosive eruptions of the La Soufriere volcano.
This year marks forty (40) years since Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of China (Taiwan) established formal diplomatic relations on 15th August, 1981. Since then, both countries have developed a close bond, a fruitful friendship built on mutual trust, shared values, respect for sovereignty, and cooperation for the mutual benefit of both country’s people in areas of common interest.