Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) The Central American nation Guatemala opened a commercial counsellor office in Taipei on Friday in the hope of drawing Taiwanese investments to the country and enhancing bilateral trade.
Speaking virtually at a ceremony that marked the inauguration of the Commercial Counsellor Office of Guatemala in Taipei, the central American nation's Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo said it was a great honor for his ministry to expand the scope of its missions abroad as part of his government's goal to strengthen Guatemala's economic and commercial links with other countries.
Describing Taiwan as a "strategic partner," Brolo stressed Guatemala's interest in strengthening its relations with Taiwan in areas such as trade and investment.
The office, which is the 22nd such office that Guatemala has set up in the world, will be tasked with bringing more foreign direct investment to Guatemala and increasing bilateral trade between the two countries, according to Hugo Sanic, who has been named as the head of the office.
Speaking to CNA, he said the office would engage with both Taiwanese and Guatemalan companies which want to do business in one another's country and provide them with counselling services and other assistance.
Speaking virtually at the ceremony, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said the establishment of the office is "a clear sign of the unwavering diplomatic partnership and close economic ties between Taiwan and Guatemala.
"This has been a new milestone in our bilateral exchanges," Wu said. "As a staunch partner to Guatemala, Taiwan is committed to continuously making contributions to Guatemala's national development and public welfare."
Wu also encouraged Taiwanese firms to consider Guatemala as their destination for developing potential business opportunities overseas and for investments, which he said will drive bilateral industrial growth.
According to Taiwan's Bureau of Foreign Trade, bilateral trade between Taiwan and Guatemala has increased from US$167.89 million to US$294.5 million since the promulgation of a free trade agreement between the two countries in 2006.
Last year, Guatemala exported US$91.64 million worth of goods to Taiwan, up 15.72 percent year on year, the Bureau's data showed, making Taiwan the fourth-largest market in Asia for Guatemala. Exports consist mostly of textile, coffee bean, sugar, metal, and leather products.