Gov. Butch Otter completed a three-day trade mission in Taiwan Thursday, part of an eight-day trip through parts of Asia that has included stops in South Korea and Vietnam. In an awards ceremony Wednesday, Otter received a medal recognizing his efforts to enhance relations between Taiwan and the United States.
Describing the award as “quite an honor,” Otter said at the ceremony that “I think it’s the first medal from a friendly nation that I have ever received,” and described Taiwan as a friend that the U.S. can count on.
“I believe the award was a surprise,” Otter press spokesperson Jon Hanian told IdahoReporter.com. “I don’t think it was one of the trade mission objectives.”
According to a report from the Focus Taiwan News Channel in Taipei, Taiwan's foreign minister, David Lin, conferred the medal on Otter in recognition of his efforts to enhance relations between Taiwan and the United States.
"I am highly honored and delighted to present on behalf of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) the Friend of Foreign Service Medal to Gov. Otter" in acknowledgment of his efforts to advance Taiwan-U.S. ties, Lin said at the ceremony.
Hanian said that there are a wide variety of companies participating in the mission. He told IdahoReporter.com that “some of the areas where we continue to focus our efforts from an export perspective are agriculture, food processing, lumber and wood products, personal care products, and technology and technological services.”
The roster of businesses participating in the trip include Micron Corporation, Boise Cascade, Zions Bank, Agri Beef Company and the Melaleuca Corporation.
The Focus Taiwan News Channel reports that this is Otter’s second trip to Taiwan as governor. However, Hanian said that “Gov. Otter traveled to Taiwan several times when he was lieutenant governor, and during his years of service as president of the Simplot International Corporation.”
Otter’s trip to the three Asian nations concludes on Saturday.
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