5,000 Laptops, as Taiwan and Belize Sign Technical Cooperation Framework Agreement

Taiwanese President Doctor Tsai Ing-Wen had a full itinerary today during her second state visit to Belize.� That schedule ends later tonight, following a dinner with Prime Minister John Brice�o at the Museum of Belize.� We'll bring you a live report from that event later in our newscast, but first we look at what was covered today during a round of official meetings and activities related to the president's visit.� This morning at the Leigh Richardson Building, Prime Minister John Brice�o and Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay hosted the president, as well as Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and other government officials as they signed a Technical Cooperation Framework Agreement between both countries.� A generous donation of five thousand digital devices were also handed over to the Brice�o administration to assist with one of two initiatives between Belize and Taiwan.� News Five's Isani Cayetano was in Belmopan and has the following story.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The handing over of five thousand laptops to the Government of Belize to assist the country in improving learning resources for vulnerable groups such as children and women in rural areas is part of a Technical Cooperation Framework Agreement between both countries.� President Tsai Ing-Wen, of the Republic of China (Taiwan), presented Prime Minister John Briceno with the donation at the Leigh Richardson Building, the seat of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Dr. Tsai Ing-Wen, President of ROC (Taiwan)

"It is encouraging to see these projects taking shape in Belize.� In addition, technical projects are essential to bettering the lives of our citizens.� Therefore, I am also delighted to bear witness to our foreign ministers signing of an agreement that will streamline and strengthen our bilateral technical cooperation.� I look forward to more cooperation in the many years to come."

The signing of the agreement between foreign ministers Eamon Courtenay and Jaushieh Joseph Wu, was witnessed by both heads of government, including Prime Minister Brice�o.

Prime Minister John Brice�o

"This agreement will serve to further establish cooperation programs in areas such as agriculture, forestry, technology, education, climate change, youths and women, health, tourism and other areas of mutual interest.� Likewise, it is a reflection of the many projects our two countries are presently engaged in as we continue to strengthen our bilateral relations.� Belize and Taiwan share a longstanding friendship that spans almost thirty-four years.� For thirty-two years of those thirty-four years, a Taiwan Technical Mission has been assisting us implementing these initiatives which help to support our country's growth and development.� Currently, there are several ongoing cooperation initiatives between our governments.� Taiwan has offered its technical and scientific expertise in numerous areas in Belize."

The official visit comes at a time when Taiwan needs to shore up bilateral relations with its allies.� In Central America, Belize and Guatemala are the only remaining countries with allegiances to the island nation of Taiwan.

Dr. Tsai Ing-Wen

"In addition to our many collaborations, we are proud to call Belize, a fellow believer in freedom and democracy, a close ally.� Just a few days ago, your House of Representatives passed a motion reiterating Belize's support and friendship for Taiwan.� On behalf of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) I would like to take this opportunity to thank Belize for its strong support for Taiwan's democracy and international participation.� Both our ongoing projects and future commitments are signs of bright futures for our bilateral ties."

The signing and handing-over ceremonies were part of activities organized during the state visit of President Tsai Ing-Wen, the second call on Belize during her time in office. Isani Cayetano for News Five.

Channel 5