Maui Mayor Selected as part of Delegation to Taiwan
By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has been selected as part of a small delegation of mayors that is visiting Taiwan to promote economic and cultural exchange with the US.
The trip includes a total of 10 mayors from California, Florida, Guam, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Washington State and Hawai’i, most of who already have links established with Taiwan.
Maui County’s link to Taiwan includes a sister-city relationship with Pingtung County that was established in 1980. Although Pingtung representatives visit Maui County frequently, officials say budget constraints have prevented Maui officials from visiting Pingtung.
As part of the delegation visit, Mayor Arakawa is scheduled to meet up with Pingtung County Mayor Yeh Shou-Shan on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm a sister city relationship that has been in effect for more than 30 years,” said Mayor Arakawa in a statement. “This is also a good time to explore new business opportunities and possible partnerships between Maui County and other municipalities in Taiwan,” he said.
Other delegation stops include a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.
Mayor Arakawa left for the trip on July 28, and returns on August 4. The delegation trip was paid for and sponsored by the Taipei Economic Cultural Office in Washington DC.
Mayor Arakawa added, “The economy in Asia continues to expand and as part of a global economy, Maui County needs to be in a position to take advantage of that.”