Republic of China (Taiwan) renews cooperation for SICA countries by $23 million for the period 2015-2016

Placencia, Belize, December 15, 2014: The Republic of China (Taiwan) today announced the allocation of 23 million US dollars (US $ 23,000,000.00) for the implementation of regional cooperation projects in the countries of Central American isthmus and the Dominican Republic, for the period 2015 to 2016.

The amount was defined during the 'XVI Meeting of the Joint Commission on Cooperation between the Countries of the Central American Isthmus and the Republic of China (Taiwan)', wherein this country reiterated its support in the four areas prioritized by the Heads of State and Government of SICA: social integration, economic integration, institutional strengthening, and integrated risk management and climate change.

With the new support, projects will be implemented that are oriented towards social inclusion and human rights in countries of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic; strengthening partnerships in the field of fisheries and aquaculture; the development of health topics, in the framework of the Post Agenda 2015, to improve indicators in this area as part of the Regional Health Policy of SICA; the promotion of food and nutrition in rural households; the promotion of entrepreneurship; as well as the modernization and strengthening of foreign ministries of the countries of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic, to name a few.

The XVI Meeting of the Joint Commission included the participation of a delegation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) led by its foreign minister, His Excellency David YL Lin; High-level officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic; and the Secretary General of SICA, Dr. Victoria Marina Velásquez de Avilés.

Also during the meeting, the achievements were exposed that were obtained through regional projects implemented with support from the Asian country previously provided, among which the highlights were:

- The Regional Support Program for the execution of the Policy for Fisheries and Aquaculture (PRAEPPESCA), which trained leaders of artisanal fishermen currently involved in the process of collecting data on climate change at the regional level; further strengthening the governance model, achieving binding agreements on issues of common interest such as the ban on fishing for certain species in the countries that make up the system, with the participation of institutions and sectors of artisanal fisheries, industry fisheries, and aquaculture.

- The Support Project to the Program of Institutionalization of Gender Equality in the Central American Integration System (PRO-PAR), with which it carried out the process of elaboration, approval, and positioning of the Regional Policy of Gender Equality and Equity of SICA (PRIEG); the interagency coordination for the establishment of the Regional Round Table for Gender; and the validation of the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on Central American Social Integration (TISCA) on the issue of violence against women, among other actions.

- The Central American Project and the Central American Republic Embarkation, which has enhanced the SICA EMPRENDE strategy, and its implementation has delivered approximately US $1,5 million in seed capital for Micro, Medium, and Small Enterprises in the isthmus to initiate and strengthen entrepreneurial initiatives, which has resulted in cumulative sales worth approximately US $ 741,762.

- The Regional Support Project to increased productivity and quality of food production to contribute to food security in Central America and the Dominican Republic (PROCAL), with which they have strengthened organizations of farmers in the incorporation of irrigation technologies, as well as efficient and sustainable water use; the incorporation of technologies for the most adequate use of agricultural inputs from the economic and environmental viewpoint, and development of technologies for alternative food towards food security.

- The Project Enhancing the Social Dimension of the Central American Integration, whereby it has strengthened the promotion of the debate and reflection around the prevention of violence from early childhood and the participation of an organized civilian society in the regional social integration process.

- The Project for Strengthening the Central American Integration and Promotion of Tourism, which to date has achieved the commissioning of the Regional Strategy for Promotion and Marketing in Europe, which contributed to the increased number of tourists visiting the isthmus. Among the activities developed in this context include: more than 18 seminars and events in different cities in Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom with the participation of more than 2,500 travel agencies and tour operators; and online training of 790 travel agents, among others.

The Joint Commission is a forum for cooperation established between both parties on December 13, 1991, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with which it has transcended from a scheme of bilateral cooperation to a new model of regional character, which has been additional and complementary to the support currently provided by the Asian nation to the countries of the Central American bloc.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) has formed part of the Extra Regional Observer countries of SICA since February 7, 2000, when it became the first state to get that status with the regional body.

For more information:

Boletín Informativo de la Secretaría General del SICA