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Ambassador Weber Shih’s four-year tenure comes to an end

Ambassador Weber Shih’s four-year tenure comes to an end

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Outgoing Taiwanese ambassador to St Vincent and the Grenadines Weber Shih says his tenure here was enjoyable, and since the two countries forged diplomatic ties more than three decades ago, relations between the two have grown from strength to strength.

The ambassador, who will be moving on to the post of secretary general of the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) in Taiwan, {{more}}told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview on August 27, that he is pleased to have accomplished his mandate as ambassador, which included overseeing the construction of the terminal building at the Argyle international airport.

“Four years ago, I arrived with a priority mission to build a passenger terminal, and during the four years, I had the pleasure to witness the agreement between the IADC (International Airport Development Company) and OECC (Overseas Engineering and Construction Company Limited) and witness all stages of the construction and handing over of the completed project, and to see it standing tall as a shining landmark of the island.

“I do believe it will benefit Vincentians at home and abroad.

“During the construction of this flagship project, my colleagues and I never paid less attention to our cooperation in other fields: civic development, health care, agriculture, education, ICT, and cultural exchanges, and they have all had very good results,” Shih told SEARCHLIGHT.

Shih said that he is grateful for the cooperation and support he received from both sides of the House of Assembly, and from the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, led by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“Since Honourable Ralph E Gonsalves took office, St Vincent and the Grenadines has been the leading advocate for Taiwan’s international participation, and our existing cooperation has been further expanded. The friendship between the two countries has grown beyond government to government relations.”

He said that this support was the foundation for the visit of Taiwan’s President Ma last year, which he said was one of the highlights of his term here.

According to Shih, Ma’s visit further enhanced the cooperation and good relations between the two countries.

He also expressed gratitude for the support of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, whom he said he would miss most of all.

Ambassador Shih pointed out that the people of both countries, though separated by thousands of miles, have a lot in common historically and culturally.

He noted that SVG and the Republic of China are both island nations, which have both been colonized time and time again, but the resilience of the people have caused the countries to remain steadfast.

He said that in the absence of many natural resources, the Vincentian and Taiwanese populations chose to keep education as a priority.

“Education is everything.”

He also added that in his new position as secretary general of the ICDF, he would continue his efforts to promote bilateral cooperation with St Vincent and the Grenadines on various projects, and this may present opportunities to return to these shores.

When asked if he had any words of advice for his successor, the ambassador laughed and said that the most he can tell the new representative is that he will be in good hands.

“He is a good friend of mine with lots of diplomatic and sound experience. I can only tell him that he will be treated very well and that he too will enjoy his stay.

“It is my sincere hope that my Vincentian brothers and sisters would give him the same level of support that you have graciously afforded to me.”

The ambassador and his wife leave St Vincent and the Grenadines today.

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