TAIPEI – The president of Paraguay arrived in Taiwan from Dubai Tuesday to mark the 60th year of the establishment of bilateral ties, at a time of mounting Chinese pressure on the island.
While in Taiwan, Horacio Cartes, accompanied by foreign minister Eladio Loizaga and minister of industry and commerce Gustavo Leite, will also discuss ways to increase exports, attract investments and generate jobs in the country, according to a statement by the government of Paraguay.
Paraguay wants a complementary economic agreement with Taiwan along with greater Taiwanese investment in Paraguay, said Leite before the visit, according to the website of the Paraguayan presidency.
Asuncion is also seeking to boost exports to Taiwan and rest of Asia, especially in the fields of industry, fruit juices, meats, poultry and processed products.
This year there has already been an increase in beef exports to Taiwan from 3,522 tons to 10,406 tons.
Paraguay is currently the only South American diplomatic ally of Taiwan and one of its most important partners among its 20 allies, 11 of which are located in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“There is a strong Chinese aggressive pressure campaign on Taiwan’s allies,” a Latin American diplomat who asked not to be named told EFE in Taipei.
Cartes, Wednesday, will be welcomed with full state honors at the presidential office in Taiwan, where he will also hold a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen and participate in commemorative activities.
On Thursday, he will travel to the southern port city of Kaohsiung and Tainan on a cultural and industrial visit.
Taiwan has maintained close bilateral ties with Paraguay since 1957, including around 70 cooperation agreements.