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Montana governor eyes enhanced bilateral ties with Taiwan

Greg Gianforte to oversee signing of trade and education agreements

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte. (MOFA photo)

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte. (MOFA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Montana Governor Greg Gianforte arrived in Taiwan on Sunday (Oct. 29) for a six-day visit to explore new areas for bilateral cooperation.

This is Gianforte's first overseas trip since taking office in 2021, per a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement. His delegation consists of representatives from Montana’s agricultural, manufacturing, photonics, and bioscience industries.

During the trip, Gianforte and his delegation will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Deputy Foreign Minister Roy Lee (李淳), and other government officials and industry representatives. Additionally, Gianforte will oversee the inking of a Taiwan-Montana education cooperation agreement and a pact between the Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei and the Montana Department of Commerce, which will serve to bolster cooperation in education and trade.

Taiwan has remained one of Montana’s top 10 trading partners, according to a Montana state government press release. In 2022, Taiwan purchased more than $107 million in goods from the northwestern state, including wheat, industrial machinery, and beef, it said.

Taiwan has also collaborated with the University of Montana and Montana Technological University, establishing short-term exchange programs with each school.

Gianforte reopened the Montana Asia Trade Office, located in Taipei, in 2021 to promote business opportunities for Montana and boost sales and investments in the wheat, pulse crops, machinery, education, optics, coal, and pharmaceutical sectors, the press release said. Taiwan and Montana established sister state relations in 1985.

President Tsai has received multiple U.S. state governors in the past six months, including leaders from Virginia, Arizona, New Mexico, and New Jersey.