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Taiwan and US ink MOU on joint training program

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's foreign ministry yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a United States think tank to launch a joint project that aims to train young leaders in Pacific Island countries.

The five-year program, entitled Pacific Islands Leadership Partnership (PILP), was signed between the ministry's Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs and the Hawaii-based East-West Center yesterday in Taipei.

Joseph Shih (石定), president of the institute, said the program is expected to officially launch in summer 2013.

“The program will see 25 participants (from the Pacific region) each year spending two months in Hawaii and one month in Taiwan,” he said.

The one-month training in Taiwan will help trainees gain knowledge about the country's economic development and its long-standing cooperation with Pacific Island nations on various fronts, Shih said.

The decision to launch the program came after U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah visited Taiwan last year to explore cooperation opportunities.

The joint venture signifies an important milestone in Taipei-Washington cooperation, he noted.

Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center, said the program aims “to provide leadership training for young Pacific Island leaders and to help them become more effective in their future jobs leading their countries.”

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Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs Deputy Director Joseph Shih (石定), right, and President of East-West Center Charles Morrison pose together in Taipei, yesterday. They signed a memorandum of understanding about working together to found the Pacific Islands Leadership Partnership. (CNA)

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