Salisbury, MD -- Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt is pleased to announce that he has been invited to be among a small delegation of local government executives to visit Taiwan, September 1-7, 2013. County Executive Pollitt and other elected officials are being hosted on the trip by the government of Taiwan through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Washington, DC to promote cultural exchange and economic development opportunities with the U.S.
“My office believes that by meeting with the officials from our Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan External Trade Development Council, the County Executive will understand our trade policy and promote business opportunities and products to us,” said Lester Yang, Consular Division Officer for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, “The reason we invited him is because we want to strengthen the bilateral relations between Maryland and Taiwan. One of our aims here is to encourage the bilateral economic, cultural, and educational exchanges between our two sides.”
County Executive Pollitt commented, “I am extremely honored and excited by the opportunity to represent my county, my State and my country in Taiwan in the pursuit of improved cultural understanding and economic relations. I have already been briefed by our Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development and will spend the next few weeks intensely preparing for the trip. Maryland is one of only 13 states with official representation in Taiwan and I expect that will greatly enhance our chances for a successful mission.”
The Taipei Economic Cultural Office selected officials from California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia. Delegation stops include a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.
County Executive Pollitt considers the opportunity to travel to Taiwan a continuation of his Build A Bridge to Business economic growth plan that began earlier this year to spur economic development by improving the county’s competitive position, encouraging entrepreneurship, encouraging businesses to thrive and attracting new businesses to the county. Within the first six months of 2013, those initiatives, at the local level, included the phasing out of the Inventory Tax over five years, the Automatic Manufacturer’s Tax Exemption and, at the state-level, the Property Tax Rate Decoupling legislation Pollitt spearheaded as President of the Maryland Association of Counties.
“The core of our new Visioning process and our commitment to expanded economic development is in the elimination of traditional boundaries of thought and geography that only serve to limit our potential success,” Executive Pollitt said. “My trip to Taiwan is a perfect way to jump-start the effort.”
The delegation trip is paid for and sponsored by the Taipei Economic Cultural Office in Washington DC. Taiwan is the second largest consumption market for U.S. agricultural products per capita. In 2012, Maryland’s exports to Taiwan reached $125.8 million, a 41 percent increase from 2011. Taiwan is Maryland’s 24th largest export market in the world, and 8th largest export market in Asia.