President Tsai Ing-wen and her accompanying delegation, continuing with their Central American trip codenamed the "Ing-Jie Project," attended a welcome banquet hosted by Nicaraguan business leader Roberto Zamora at about 8:00 p.m. on Monday, January 10 local time (roughly 10:00 a.m. on January 11 Taipei time).
After President Tsai arrived, Mr. Zamora—the president of the Lafise Group —extended a warm welcome to the president and her delegation, and briefly described the financial, banking, and beef businesses operated by his companies. Mr. Zamora expressed his hope to act via business dealings to enhance bilateral friendship, and stressed that the Lafise Group is deeply involved in education and related fields.
President Tsai then delivered remarks of her own, stating that the delegation had been offered beef at virtually every meal they had since they set off on their trip, but this occasion was special because they were being hosted by a beef producer. While the delegation was on its way to Central America, Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維) told her that Nicaragua was Taiwan's fifth-largest source of imported beef in 2016. Nicaragua's beef industry achieved a total output of roughly US$12.14 million last year while maintaining excellent quality. The president said that on a previous visit to Nicaragua she once ordered a 12-ounce steak three days in a row, and can vouch for the delicious flavor of Nicaraguan beef.
President Tsai also thanked Mr. Zamora for his invitation, noting that he is an outstanding businessman who cares deeply about social participation and matters of public interest. The Zamora Teran Foundation , established by Mr. Zamora and his wife, runs the "One Laptop Per Child" Educational Program in Nicaragua and other Central American countries. The program has helped some 45,000 Nicaraguan students and done much to narrow the digital divide. The results achieved to date are widely recognized.
President Tsai stated that Taiwan is the world's leading producer of computer parts and components, and is thus a beneficiary of the foundation's work. This is part of what she means, said the president, when she speaks of steadfast diplomacy based on building mutually beneficial relationships. In the future, we hope to communicate more with other countries and develop ideas for mutually beneficial cooperation projects, thereby ensuring that Taiwan's diplomacy will take on added depth and a more solid foundation.
President Tsai closed her remarks by introducing delegation member Robert Wang (王定愷), General Manager of the BYOC Business Unit at Acer Inc., to the banquet guests. The president urged everyone to take advantage of the opportunity before them to talk about their experience in working to narrow the digital divide, and she also expressed hope that the two sides will cooperate in the future.