This week marks another step forward in the relationship between Tegucigalpa and Taipei, as Honduras welcomes Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for her first trip to this emerging Central American country. In the beginning of January, Honduran officials laid out the red carpet for President Tsai, welcoming Taiwanese interest and investment in the country’s promising economic future.
The Taiwanese president’s stop in Honduras is a part of a larger Central American tour, where she visits El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Her decision to begin the trip in Tegucigalpa reflects the sustained importance that Honduras has in the eyes of Taiwanese leadership. Overall, this week-long circuit seeks to strengthen diplomatic ties and cooperation between Taiwan and its Central American allies.
Following a meeting between President Tsai and President Juan Orlando Hernández held in Taipei in October, President Tsai traveled to Tegucigalpa to affirm economic, diplomatic, and commercial ties strengthened through bilateral trade agreements and major cooperation projects. The two nations have maintained a fraternal relationship for more than 75 years and the leaders are confident that 2017 will welcome a new chapter of economic prosperity for both countries.
Over the years, Honduras has been steadily increasing their agricultural exports to China (Taiwan), as Taiwanese investors have kept an eye on the increasing economic prosperity of this Central American gem. Following the meetings and as a part of the larger and most important economic initiative in the history of the country, Honduras 20/20, Taiwanese consumers can expect an increase in Honduran goods in their local supermarkets such as melon, beef, powdered milk, and other basic products.
Along with increased economic benefits, President Tsai’s arrival reflects a strong cultural relationship that seeks to engage Honduras’ strongest resource: its people. Over the past several years, Honduras has sent over 300 culturally curious students to Taiwan to study abroad and participate in the Taiwan Scholarship Program, providing young Hondurans with first-hand exposure to Chinese culture. Through the initiative #JovenesHN, launched by Marca Honduras in efforts to connect and engage with Honduran youth studying abroad, the event held in Taipei hosted close to 100 students eager to learn more about their country’s brand in their home away from home.
With only a month into 2017, this year continues to look promising for the future of Honduras and through continued international support the country hopes to increase its global footprint while strengthening its internal infrastructure. President Tsai’s visit to Honduras symbolizes further confidence in Honduras’ growing economies, which will provide both nations with increased stability, commerce, and global recognition.