President Tsai Ing-wen's diplomatic delegation attended a luncheon at noon on June 29 (midnight June 30 Taipei time) hosted by the Rural Association of Paraguay (Asociacion Rural del Paraguay/ARP). In addition to savoring world-famous Paraguay beef, the president was looking to develop joint business opportunities and strengthen a bilateral relationship of mutual benefits and mutual assistance.
To welcome the president and her delegation the venue had prize cattles on display, and the famous "bottle dance" was performed, showing Paraguay's national agriculture and animal husbandry prowess and the friendly enthusiasm of its people.
In remarks, President Tsai said that since it was founded over 130 years ago, the ARP has worked with the government to develop this fertile land, gradually raising Paraguay in global rankings in animal husbandry and grain production. The ARP has thus been a pioneer in the country's agriculture and livestock sectors. Based in the Chaco region, the "breadbasket" of Paraguay, the ARP also holds a world-renowned commercial agriculture and livestock exhibition every July where Taiwan has long been an active exhibitor.
President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan and Paraguay are close economic and trade partners, and that the government values the Paraguay market, and is very interested in its agricultural and livestock products. She then stated that Taiwan will continue to expand bilateral trade in the future. More Taiwanese will thus be able to enjoy Paraguay's high-quality agricultural and livestock products, while she also hopes to seek more opportunities for cooperation in the food processing sector. Noting that the delegation for this trip included key trade organizations and Taiwan food industry leaders, the president expressed hope that they could establish long-term friendships with their Paraguayan counterparts, and jointly develop more mutually beneficial business opportunities.
President Tsai then joined Paraguay's Vice President Juan Eudes Afara Maciel, Minister of Foreign Affairs Eladio Loizaga, ARP President Luis Enrique Villasanti, and the members of the Taiwan delegation for lunch in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
After lunch, the delegation proceeded to National University of Asuncion where they toured a Feed Production Project factory, a project of Taiwan-Paraguay technical cooperation. As President Tsai's motorcade pulled up to the feed production factory, they received a rousing welcome from students and teachers from the university and local farmers lining both sides of the street. She was greeted by Paraguay's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Juan Carlos Baruja and Acting Chancellor of the University Hector Amilcar Rojas. Feed Production Project manager Lee Chuen-fang (李春芳) then led the president on a tour of the feed factory, visiting the processing machinery and finished product areas to gain a better understanding of Taiwan-Paraguay cooperation in the feed production sector.
Following the Feed Production Project factory tour, the delegation visited the Orchid Industry Development Project's exhibition center. Upon her arrival, President Tsai accepted flowers from local children, and enjoyed a traditional Paraguayan dance performance. She then presided over the inauguration of the exhibition center together with Taiwan's National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維), ROC Ambassador to Paraguay Alexander Tah-Ray Yui (俞大㵢), and Paraguay's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Baruja. The Project Manager of the Orchid Industry Development Project, Gong Ji-ping (宮濟平), then gave the president a tour of the exhibition center, which gave her a better understanding of the current status and developmental prospects for orchid production in Paraguay.