Published 8 November 2022
Buckie Got It, St Kitts and Nevis News Source
Remarks by the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew,
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis
at the State Banquet, hosted by
H.E. Tsai ing-wen,
President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Presidential Palace, Tuesday 8 th November, 2022
Your Excellency, it is a distinct pleasure for me to deliver these brief remarks at this auspicious event… the State Banquet in our honour, commemorating the inaugural visit to Taiwan, following the victory of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party at the polls conducted on August 5 th 2022.
My delegation is truly grateful to you and your government for your invitation to this beautiful country, your warm hospitality, and the excellent arrangements put in place to enable us to have a most productive mission in Taiwan.
We were truly inspired by the military parade held in our honour earlier today. The harmony and precise maneuvers of the soldiers and military band members were most impressive. We shall continue to cherish these moments and use them as building blocks for strengthening our bonds of friendship and cooperation.
St. Kitts and Nevis continues to place a high value on its bilateral relationship with the Republic of China (Taiwan). As you are aware, we established diplomatic relations shortly after we gained independence from Great Britain in 1983. This represents nigh forty years of solid, meaningful bilateral engagement buttressed by tangible and practical functional cooperation.
As I have indicated earlier, our relationship is truly special. It is based on shared values of democracy, good governance, human rights, and the rule of law. We have a rich legacy of cooperation, which we are committed to maintain and strengthen.
Your Excellency, I wish to reassure you of my government’s firm commitment to further strengthen the bonds of friendship which we have worked so hard to build over the past four decades.
We shall continue to lend our voice to the clarion call for the international community to recognize that Taiwan has a role to play in finding solutions to the myriad challenges which confront us as we strive to achieve our development objectives. At the recently held 72 nd Session of the United Nations General
Assembly, I had the distinct honour to lay emphasis on this fundamental point on the global platform provided by the United Nations.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has taught us that insularity will prevent us from achieving desired outcomes. Cooperation and dialogue are crucial pieces of the puzzle. Diseases respect no borders. Cooperation among regional and international partners is integral to solving global problems.
In our bilateral engagement earlier today, we highlighted a number of the pillars on which to build our economy into the next decade and beyond. We shall continue to invest in our human capital, which is essentially our main resource. We shall continue to focus on food security, through agricultural diversification.
We shall continue to focus on building our health care infrastructure, recognizing that a nation’s health correlates with its wealth. We shall focus on building our manufacturing capacity using solid ICT platforms.
Our development thrust will be underpinned by principles that ensure environmental sustainability. There is little value in pursuing our development objectives while engaging in actions that endanger our environment and our survival.
With these few remarks, Excellency, I would wish to thank you once more for affording us the opportunity to visit you and engage in meaningful dialogue. It would be an honour for me to invite you to head a delegation to St. Kitts and Nevis in the not-too-distant future.
I thank you.