Basseterre and Kaohsiung forge historic sister city partnership

In a historic move to strengthen ties and foster collaboration, Basseterre City in St. Kitts and Nevis and Kaohsiung City in the Republic of China (Taiwan) have signed an agreement to become sister cities. The signing ceremony took place in the vibrant and technologically advanced city of Kaohsiung on Tuesday, June 25, 2024. 

The sister-city agreement is designed to promote mutual understanding and cooperation across various fields such as culture, education, business, healthcare, and technology. By leveraging each city’s strengths, the partnership aims to foster economic growth, cultural exchange, and innovative development.

The Honourable Chi-Mai Chen, Mayor of Kaohsiung City, welcomed the agreement.

“This sister city partnership is a significant milestone in our shared journey towards mutual growth and development. It reflects our dedication to fostering closer ties and collaborative efforts across various sectors. We look forward to a future where our cities thrive together, benefiting from each other’s strengths and innovations,” said Mayor Chen.

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership. 

“This agreement, with its specially designed cooperative agenda, is a testament to our commitment to mutual benefit and targeted exchanges. It encompasses a wide range of areas, including smart city development, which is the cornerstone of our sustainable development initiatives, as well as healthcare, agriculture, and tourism,” said Dr. Drew. 

The prime minister also highlighted the significance of the agreement in achieving St. Kitts and Nevis’ vision of becoming a Sustainable Island State by 2040. He mentioned that five of the nation’s doctors have already received training in Kaohsiung, and with their newly acquired knowledge and skills, along with the benefits of this partnership, the country is on track to meet its goals. Additionally, he pointed out that several students are currently pursuing tertiary-level education and training in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, and tourism in Kaohsiung, as well as in neighbouring Pingtung and Tainan.

The agreement also includes initiatives to enhance healthcare in Basseterre through partnerships with Kaohsiung’s leading medical institutions. Dr. Drew emphasised the potential impact, noting that the Kaohsiung Veterans Hospital, along with three other major medical centres, form the Kaohsiung Joint Learning Smart Healthcare Alliance. He said that Basseterre’s Joseph N. France General Hospital will benefit directly from the collective training and artificial intelligence models developed by this pioneering healthcare initiative.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Remus Chen, also expressed his support for the agreement. 

“The establishment of the partnership between these two cities symbolises our unwavering commitment to deepening our people’s bonds and will further strengthen the friendship between Taiwan and Saint Christopher and Nevis. I am confident that this sister city partnership will flourish in the years to come,” said Vice Minister Chen.

The ceremony was attended by key diplomatic figures, including St. Kitts and Nevis’ Resident Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Donya Francis, who underscored the importance of such alliances in fostering economic benefits, increased cultural awareness, and stronger diplomatic relations. He said that the sister city agreement represents a significant milestone in the relationship between Basseterre and Kaohsiung, paving the way for a future filled with shared growth, innovation, and mutual prosperity.

Nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis living and studying in Kaohsiung were also present to share in this momentous occasion.

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