September 9, 2005
Taiwan presents cheques to SVG

The Republic of China on Taiwan has again made another generous donation to people of this country.

At a ceremony held at the Foreign Affairs, conference room on Thursday, August 25, Ambassador Elizabeth Chu presented a cheque to Minister of National Security Sir Vincent Beache for EC $54,000 and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Dr. Jerrol Thompson, for EC$300,000. {{more}}

The Taiwanese ambassador said with the onslaught of challenges from the Caribbean Single Market and Economy CSME, the cheques are aimed at making this country better prepared. She said the EC$54,000 for the Ministry of National Security was for the police force to purchase equipment for machine readable passports. Chu noted that Vincentians, along with other Caricom nationals, must be compliant with standards in measurement hence the need for the cheque of EC$300,000 to the standards bureau.

Accepting the cheque for EC$300,000 was Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Jerrol Thompson. He expressed gratitude for the contribution from the Republic of China on Taiwan and said that it would enhance the facilities at the Bureau of Standards. He assured that when the Bureau of Standards building is renovated they would be

better equipped to make sure that not only local products fit the required standards for the overseas market, but that products entering these shores do not deceive consumers.

Meanwhile, Minister of National Security Sir Vincent Beache noted at the ceremony that if security were threatened other sectors would collapse. He said that this was most evident in the case of American student Natalie Holloway who went missing in Aruba. He said because of her disappearance the tourism sector of that country has been threatened since safety was an issue.

Sir Vincent warned, that to say that terrorists would never come to places like the Caribbean to carry out their destructive acts, would be naive since terrorists are not concerned with the lives of the innocent. He reinforced that they are only concerned with the philosophy that the end justifies the means. The Minister stressed that this is why developing countries like St.Vincent must step up to international standards in security and this include securer passports. He revealed that the present passports can be easily tampered with and was even sold to non-nationals.

Sir Vincent however affirmed that the new machine-readable passports would make duplication more difficult and the machine readers would be at the immigration department, and another at the E.T. Joshua Airport.