BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
PERMANENT Secretary of Culture and Tourism, Andrew Nihopara says Taiwan’s steadfast relations with Solomon Islands needs to translate into people-with-people through tourism.
Nihopara made the statement during a seminar on the Republic of China Foreign Policy held at Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Headquarter in Taipei.
He said the tourism ministry wants to see both countries taking their relations another step forward by introducing the people-with-people concept.
He adds the 30-year relationship between the two should by now mature and grow beyond political friendship.
“I have seen there is a lot of scope for Taiwan to implement not only on political relationship but taking it down to country level.
“With agreements already signed between Solomon Islands and Taiwan we want to capitalize on that and starts looking at flow of people between two countries.”
He said Solomon Islands is focusing its tourism key market on Australia and New Zealand lately, and wants to look north and south especially by capitalising on Taiwan’s national tourism market.
Nihopara commends and acknowledges Taiwan for mutual development in terms of economic and social developments in Solomon Islands.
Meanwhile, Deputy Counselor of Home Assignment Department of Policy Planning, MOFA, Mr Liang-Ruey Ke said the political level of bilateral relationship exist in every allies countries not only between Solomons and Taiwan.
Mr Liang Ruey said Solomon Islands’ geographic location is one challenge Taiwan faces, which will take time to encourage Taiwanese people to visit.
However, Mr Liang Ruey said there are other ways of doing exchange services to help people in partner countries, such as sending medical doctors and nurses to Solomon Islands for the past years.