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For the purpose of enhancing the substantive cooperation between the Republic of China and the Slovak Republic in trade, investment, culture, tourism and other fields…

For the purpose of enhancing the substantive cooperation between the Republic of China and the Slovak Republic in trade, investment, culture, tourism and other fields, the “Taipei Representative Office, Bratislava” was established in the capital of the Slovak Republic on August 1, 2003, and began operating immediately. The “Slovak Economic and Cultural Office, Taipei,” on a reciprocal basis, is expected to commence operations in the coming month.

The Slovak Republic, with a population of 5.4 million and an area of 49,035 km2, is located at the center of Europe. Its neighbors are Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. As part of the European Union’s process of enlargement, the Slovak Republic, along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and other acceding countries, will join the European Union in May 2004. On May 15 and 16, the Slovak Republic held a referendum on this issue and the majority of Slovaks backed joining the EU. The Slovak Republic’s economic, social and other development features will gain even stronger momentum once the country becomes a full-fledged member of the EU. The newly established representative office in Slovakia will help to strengthen Taiwan’s ties as well as to further develop the cooperative relations with the new Central European member states of the EU.

Mr. Cheng-chi Chen, the Deputy Representative to Germany is assigned as the head of the aforesaid Representative Office. As a senior diplomat, Mr. Chen has been serving in MOFA for 35 years and is familiar with European affairs. His career includes 3rd secretary in Austria, director general in Munich and deputy director general of the Department of European Affairs.

It is strongly believed that the reciprocal establishment of representative offices in Taipei and Bratislava provides a further impetus to fruitful cooperation between Taiwan and the Slovak Republic in such areas as trade and investment, culture and education.

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