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Taiwan Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Fiona Huei-Chun Fan had handed over a cheque for US$40,000 in sponsorship to Invest SVG to help offset cost associated with hosting the Everything Vincy Expo Plus 2023.

Fan made the contribution after delivering remarks at an opening ceremony to mark the start of the expo at the E.T. Joshua Tarmac in Arnos Vale on Thursday.

Fan said Taiwan has been sponsoring the expo since 2019 and indicated that several beneficiaries from the Taiwan-funded Women Empowerment project are participating in the 2023 expo.

The ambassador also extended congratulations to the government and people of SVG on the occasion of this country’s 44th independence anniversary.

In his welcoming remarks, Glen Beache, executive director of Invest SVG said the 2023 edition of the expo is a major improvement from past events, showcasing the best of what Vincentians have to offer, in addition to exhibitors from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Camillo Gonsalves, the minister responsible for Invest SVG, said the ET Joshua Tarmac would be a one-time venue for hosting the Everything Vincy Expo Plus, as construction work would begin soon on the Acute Referral Hospital project.

The minister also highlighted the significance of the expo, pointing to a wide array of high-quality products produced locally by Vincentian entrepreneurs.

 He noted that several of the businesses participating in this year’s event have benefited from various government funded programmes designed to promote the growth of medium and small enterprises in SVG.

Gonsalves said the 2023 expo is the largest staging of the event.

He also called for an extension of the expo this year and in the future and advised that the expo village should remain open, to welcome visitors from cruise ships making call in SVG, in early November.

The annual expo was first introduced as the “Vincy Innovators Expo” in April 2013 at the Diamond Industrial Estate.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, in his remarks before officially declaring the 2023 expo open, cited the legacies of colonialism and underdevelopment as existential challenges for small and developing economies, such as SVG.

The Everything Vincy Expo Plus runs end on Sunday and is being stage at the northern end of the ET Joshua Tarmac.

The event showcases SVG’s innovation, investment potential, and cultural richness.