Minister talks productivity in St. Vincent
By Kenton X. Chance ,Special to The China PostKINGSTOWN, St. Vincent -- Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. L. Lin on Saturday wrapped up a two-day visit to the Eastern Caribbean ally of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that included talks with state officials and tours of Taiwan-funded infrastructure.
February 3, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
On Friday, Lin met Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne at his official residence just outside the western hemisphere's oldest botanical gardens, which Lin also toured.
The Taiwanese diplomat also held talks with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who said this nation of 110,000 people has much to learn from Taiwan.
“Taiwan is a progressive country principally because it puts work at its core. Any progressive country in the world must put work — productivity — at its center,” Gonsalves said.
“Leisure, pleasure and nice time can only be financed by hard and smart work — productive labor. We also, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines believe that to be the case.
“And you (Taiwan) have been very successful in that regard and that is an area from which we can learn,” said Gonsalves, who is also holds the economic development portfolio.
“You have made productivity, hard and smart work at the center of a progressive society and I think that is a lesson which we take, which we feel strongly about and you have many things to teach us in that regard,” the prime minister further said.
Meanwhile, Lin lauded the efforts of the Vincentian government and pledged Taiwan's continued assistance to this country's development.
“We are happy to assist in anyway possible with your national development,” Lin said.
Lin also visited the terminal building at the US$241 million international airport — this country's first — under construction on the island's northeast coast.
Taipei is funding the construction of the building and the Vincentian government awarded the contract to a Taiwanese firm — Overseas Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd.
Lin said the international airport is “a very important project for your country and for your people.”
Lin also visited the Taiwan-funded national library in the capital as well as Taiwan's agricultural mission to the north.
During the visit, Lin also met with his Vincentian counterpart Sen. Douglas Slater.
They discussed ways of further strengthening bilateral relations between both countries.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a multi-island nation, and Taiwan have maintained unbroken diplomatic ties since Aug. 15, 1981.
Lin arrived in Kingstown Thursday night from St. Lucia, another ally, where he also paid a two-day visit.