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Honduras’ friendship with Taiwan also promise to US: Ambassador

Newly appointed Ambassador Harold Burgos was formerly student in Taiwan

Honduras Ambassadaor to Taiwan Harold Burgos shares about his diplomatic and economic mission and experience as a student in Taiwan.

Honduras Ambassadaor to Taiwan Harold Burgos shares about his diplomatic and economic mission and experience as a student in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Honduras’ Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos reaffirmed his country’s commitment to Taiwan on Sunday (Aug. 7), stressing that he personally confirmed that commitment with Honduran President Xiomara Castro prior to taking up the post.

In an interview with CNA, Burgos cited Castro as saying that maintaining solid Taiwan-Honduras ties is Honduras’ promise to not only Taiwan but also the U.S. She added that Honduras is not in contact with China.

Burgos confirmed that the U.S. is highly concerned about Honduras’ relationship with Taiwan and had expressed its stance on the issue directly through Vice President Kamala Harris.

Burgos, who was described as a longtime follower of Castro and works as a core staff member, told CNA that he shares relationships of trust with Castro and Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina. When he delivered a copy of his credentials to Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on July 12, he also delivered greetings from the two.

He said by appointing him as ambassador, both Castro and Reina are conveying the message that “Taiwan and Honduras are close and have firm ties.” The clear declaration is a major signal for Taiwan-Honduras relations, especially because Castro mentioned the possibility of forming ties with China during her presidential election campaign in 2021, causing the public to speculate about the status of Honduras’ commitment to Taiwan.

It is for this reason that Burgos specifically asked Castro about her attitude toward Taiwan. He said while he knows that China will try to exert its influence, usually through education or business, “China and the Honduran government are not currently in contact.”

While some members of the Honduran congress believe China may be able to help the country more than the U.S., Burgos added, it is “not an option” for the government.

In terms of the economy and trade, Burgos is focused on promoting Honduran coffee and hopes to take over the beef and sugar export market that Nicaragua had occupied as Taiwan’s former ally.

He said Honduras needs to step up its creativity when it comes to marketing its products, whether by coming up with stories, taking advantage of shared values, developing new flavors, or adapting to the local market. Other things that Honduran businesses can learn from Taiwan are business models and problem-solving methods; when Taiwanese businesses discover problems, they develop the necessary technology or skills to overcome them, while Honduran businesses are reluctant to invest money to change or innovate.

In this sense, Burgos said Taiwan is not only the best model, but also provides the country with technical assistance.

Burgos holds a bachelor's degree in economics from National Cheng Chi University (NCCU) and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Central American Institute of Business Administration business school. He came to Taiwan alone as a student in 2007, an experience that, according to him, had a great impact on his life.

“Taiwan is my second home,” Burgos said. His trip to Taiwan was his first trip to Asia; before coming, he had only seen Asia as presented on television.

He said he received a high-quality education and learned to be independent in Taiwan. To him, Taiwan is “the door that leads to the rest of the world.”

During his time at the NCCU, Burgos learned about Taiwanese culture and, as an economics student, observed Taiwan’s economic development. This inspired him to consider ways to introduce the “Taiwan experience” to his home country.