Caretaker Prime Minister Rick Hou has met the visiting Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, Dr Su-Chen HSU in Honiara today (March 4).
The two leaders have re-affirmed the friendly relations between the two countries while also discussed areas of mutual interest that could potentially broaden existing development programmes, particularly, in the areas of trade and investment.
Prime Minister Hou said Solomon Islands will always treasure the relationship between the two countries which is based on mutual interests, while, at the same time expressed the need to explore new approaches towards development cooperation between the two countries.
Mr Hou believed that trade and investment cooperation is an area that must be improved in the long term.
“We are prepared to welcome Taiwanese Investors into Solomon Islands and it is my believe that this will further cement our relations in the long term,” he said.
The Prime Minister also re-assured Dr. HSU that Solomon Island’s relationship with Taiwan has long term visions and that “no pressure from others will break” this friendship.
The two leaders also discussed current national projects and assistance programmes including the 2023 Pacific Games National Stadium, the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Solar Project, Human Resource Development and the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF).
Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu said the National Stadium Project is an important sporting infrastructure that Taiwan “holds close to its heart” and that an MOU to begin the project will be signed soon.
Prime Minister Hou said the project will demonstrate to others in the region that Taiwan is a serious and genuine development partner to Solomon Islands.
“I looked forward to signing the MOU for the National Stadium project since this is one of the exciting national project that demonstrates the cordial relationship between our two countries,” he said.
Besides the stadium project, the two leaders also discussed possibilities of preparing Solomon Islands athletes for the Pacific Games to attend high performance trainings in Taiwan.
The proposal was welcomed by Minister Hsu and assured Solomon Islands that further discussions to formalize these arrangements are always possible.