Nov. 14 will mark 32 years since the first three Paraguayan scholarship recipients left for Taiwan to begin their university studies in their sister Asian nation.
Paraguayan students Maria Elena Morinigo, a top graduate in civil construction at the National Technical College, Blas Edgar Ruiz Diaz, a top graduate of the National Technical College, and Jose Luis Ibanez, a top graduate of the Paraguayan Institute of Telecommunications, sowed the seeds so that currently more than 300 Paraguayans can pursue undergraduate or post-graduate studies at various universities in Taiwan.
Paraguayan President Santiago Pena has said that our relationship with Taiwan is based on a solid foundation of principles and values, and on a model of productive development that targets industrialization and generates added value. I also affirm that, given the number of Paraguayan students studying in this nation, Paraguay has a good prospect of following Taiwan's economic development.
To date, more than 600 Paraguayans, thanks to scholarships granted by the Government of Taiwan, have been able to complete their university studies. They have become positive factors for the country's development and strengthening a diplomatic relationship of more than 66 years.
It is also important to note that in 1999, President Santiago Pena obtained a scholarship to study on the island, through ICDF to learn policies to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
Recalling that experience, the president said, “I learned a lot that difficulties are a good thing. We should not be afraid of difficulties." He cited Taiwan as an example of a country "in a difficult neighborhood" that has become "one of the most technologically advanced economies."
The Taiwan Paraguay Polytechnic University is another resource in the exchange of knowledge between the two countries. Thanks to the collaboration of the Taiwan government, every year 100 young Paraguayans can train in engineering through a teaching agreement with the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), increasing knowledge exchange and sisterhood between the two countries.
The educational cooperation between both nations is of transcendental importance in the alliance between our countries. It furthers mutual knowledge between the two states, which despite being geographically separated, are united by the desire for progress for their societies.