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Press Release

Remarks For U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson Departure Statement Taipei, Taiwan November 11, 1998 (as Prepared for Delivery)

PR9851E | Date: 1998-11-11

I would like to express my appreciation to the people of Taiwan for their warm and gracious welcome. I enjoyed seeing once again the impressive development of Taiwan's economy and political life. Driving around Taipei and seeing the campaign posters for your legislative elections made me feel right at home.

I would also like to express my thanks to the US-ROC and ROC-USA Business Councils for inviting me to address their 22nd Annual Business Conference. After meeting so many talented businessmen and women from Taiwan and the United States, I now understand why U.S -Taiwan economic and commercial relations are flourishing.

During my visit, I had the honor of meeting with President Lee and other Taiwan leaders. I reaffirmed the commitment of President Clinton and the American people to our friendship with Taiwan. I also expressed our appreciation for the Taiwan people's success in transforming their society and political life into an active, vibrant democracy.

I was struck with the extensive and varied topics discussed at the conference reflecting the dynamic commercial and economic interchange between U.S. and Taiwan. U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment in the telecommunications, transportation, financial services and, of course, energy are extensive and expanding. Given the economic difficulties in the Asian region during the past year, Taiwan's success in sustaining positive growth is impressive.

In the energy sector, in particular, we support Taiwan's efforts to liberalize its petroleum market and power sector, to diversify its sources of energy and to embrace economic growth and environmental protection.

Experiences around the world have shown that open markets and foreign private investment foster efficiency and lower energy costs.

The United States and Taiwan also share a common commitment to a cleaner global environment. At a recent APEC meeting of energy ministers in Okinawa, at which I represented the U.S., we endorsed the recommendations of the natural gas initiative. These recommendations when implemented will attract private investment to the region and promote increased use of an environmentally beneficial fuel.

The American Institute in Taiwan last week conveyed a proposed agreement to the Taipei economic and cultural representative's office in Washington on technical cooperation in clean coal and coal utilization technology. In the private sector, U.S. and Taiwan firms are working together to protect the environment. For example, an American firm has formed a partnership in Taiwan to manufacture electric vehicles; an American firm is participating in the construction of Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant and American companies are involved in independent power projects.

Once again, I would like to thank the people of Taiwan for their hospitality. I hope that my visit this week has contributed to the strengthening of the economic and cultural ties between our people.

Thank you very much.