Taiwan in talks with Paraguay on US$150 million investment: FM

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮)

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) (By Central News Agency)

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) confirmed Wednesday that Taiwan and Paraguay are discussing the details of US$150 million in investment by Taiwan and that the matter was addressed during Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez's state visit to the country last week.

However, Wu said no details have been agreed by the two sides and the exact amount of the investment has yet to be determined.

Taiwan's ambassador to the South American ally will discuss proposals with President Abdo in the near future when he is available, Wu added.

The investment is expected to come in the form of bank loans and foreign aid, he told lawmakers when fielding questions during a legislative session.

Wu also said the proposal does not represent a return to checkbook diplomacy competition with China for the allegiance of allies amid allegations raised by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers.

The minister said the investment will be part of the government's Official Development Assistance (ODA) designed to help countries develop infrastructure while also securing business for Taiwanese contractors.

In doing so the aim is to create "win-win-win scenarios" for Taiwanese businesses, allies and their people, he added.

Wu's comments came in response to a tweet by President Abdo Monday that Taiwan has agreed to invest US$150 million in his country on public infrastructure and education.

Paraguay has had diplomatic relations with Taiwan since 1957 and is the nation's only ally in South America among 17 worldwide.

President Abdo was in Taiwan from Oct. 7 on a 5-day state visit and also attended Double Ten National Day celebrations on Oct. 10.

During his visit, the two countries signed a joint statement that focused on promoting further cooperation in bilateral investment, trade and infrastructure.