Ambassador James Moriarty from AIT (主席莫健);
Deputy Representative Shigehiro Nishiumi from Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (日本台灣交流協會副代表西海茂洋);
Chairman Wu (金融研訓院吳董事長中書);
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is a privilege to attend the opening ceremony of the 2019 GCTF International Training Workshop on Women’s Economic Empowerment. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I extend a very warm welcome to all participants!
I would also like to thank the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance for organizing this event, the American Institute in Taiwan for assembling such a strong field of professionals, and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association for serving as cohost. It is wonderful to see experts from 18 countries across the Indo-Pacific gathered here to discuss how we can further advance women’s empowerment and opportunities.
Over the past four decades, Taiwan and the United States have built a durable, comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnership on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act, which was passed by the US Congress in 1979. As we mark the 40th anniversary of the TRA’s enactment this year, we seek to further strengthen Taiwan-US relations to effectively respond to emerging global challenges.
Since its establishment in June 2015, the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) has not only institutionalized the longstanding bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and the United States, but also functioned as a multilateral platform for Taiwan to contribute its expertise toward an open and free Indo-Pacific region. And we are very excited that Japan is taking part as a cohost in the GCTF this year.
Today’s workshop is the 17th event under the GCTF. Over the last four years, Taiwan and the United States have jointly held training courses on issues such as public health, energy efficiency, bridging the digital divide, anti-corruption efforts, and women’s empowerment. I am proud to say that this workshop marks the fourth time we have selected a topic on women’s empowerment, demonstrating our government’s commitment to promoting women’s rights. In the previous three workshops, we focused on gender equality, women’s access to technology, and female leadership. This time, economic empowerment will be spotlighted.
Taiwan ranked eighth among Asia-Pacific countries in the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs of 2018. Meanwhile, according to a 2018 report by our Ministry of Economic Affairs, more than one-third of entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises in Taiwan are women. The increasing involvement of female professionals in various industries highlights the tremendous potential of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in our country.
Although we have come a long way in advancing women’s economic empowerment, there is still more room for progress, both in Taiwan and abroad. Promoting women’s rights transcends borders, and advancing women’s empowerment is our common task. There is an African proverb that says “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” So let us work together for a brighter future and better opportunities for women around the globe.
Once again, welcome to Taiwan. I wish this workshop every success, and I hope you are able to take some time to experience Taiwan’s beauty, our people, our culture, and our scenery. Enjoy your stay here!