Director-General Scott Lai and Division Deputy Director Wen-Chang Chen of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston (TECO-Boston) met with high-level state officials including the Honorable Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee, Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed, Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore Elizabeth Crowley, and House Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Kennedy in Providence, Rhode Island on February 15 to exchange views on ways to further strengthen Taiwan-Rhode Island bilateral trade and educational/cultural exchanges.
During the meeting, Director-General Lai pointed out that the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the United States have enjoyed close relations for a very long time. Taiwan and U.S. citizens share Visa Free Waiver (VFW) reciprocity. Taiwan is the 20th largest global trading country and the second largest export market for Rhode Island in Asia. Moreover, the future economic outlook and opportunity for increased trade looks promising. Lieutenant Governor McKee and other officials present recognized TECO-Boston’s efforts to promote growth of bilateral trade, and the achievements it has made in cultural and educational exchanges. Discussion also centered on how to promote development and cooperation between medium and small businesses with cultural/educational exchanges in Rhode Island.
Prior to the visit, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a resolution “Reaffirming Friendship Between Rhode Island and Taiwan, Enhancing Bilateral Relations, and Supporting Taiwan in the International Community.”
Taiwan and Rhode Island share a close relationship. Each September, the Dragon Boat and Taiwan Day Festival are held in the City of Pawtucket, a major event that attracts upwards of 10,000 people. From January to May of 2016, Rhode Island exported 70 million in goods to Taiwan, mostly in machinery, fiber-optic instruments, video equipment, athletic equipment, and plastic products, just to name a few.