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Mayor Chiang meets with Representative Zolzaya of Mongolia to discuss potential tourism exchanges between sister cities


On July 24, Representative Zolzaya Lkhagvasuren and Deputy Representative Altandush Ulziibat from the Ulaanbaatar Trade and Economic Representative Office in Taipei visited Taipei City Hall to meet with Mayor Wan-An Chiang and his administration. They discussed topics related to tourism, sister city relations, and city administration.

Mayor Chiang opened the discussion by remarking on 2023 being the 26th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Taipei and Ulaanbaatar and the 20th anniversary since the Ulaanbaatar Trade and Economic Representative Office in Taipei was established, with these events serving as milestones of the long and steady friendship between the two cities. Mayor Chiang referenced the Vision-2050 development roadmap Mongolia published in 2020 and Mongolia being one of the first countries to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and referred to Taipei’s goal of achieving zero carbon emissions and sustainable development policies in stating his belief that the two cities could learn from each other. Mayor Chiang invited Ulaanbaatar to attend the 2024 Smart City Summit & Expo and indicated that he hoped Mongolian nationals over the age of 30 would participate in the 2025 World Masters Games, which are to be co-organized by Taipei and New Taipei. Mayor Chiang also expressed interest in Mongolia’s famous Naadam Festival, indicating he hoped to either host a Naadam Festival in Taipei or attend the festival in Mongolia himself. He ended his address by stating that he wished for Taipei to continue its relations with Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar.

Representative Zolzaya thanked Mayor Chiang for providing him with the opportunity to meet with the mayor and the city administration and noted that this was the 21st anniversary in which Taiwan has had a representative office in Mongolia. Representative Zolzaya expressed hope for continued relations between Taiwan and Mongolia. The Government of Mongolia has declared 2023–2025 to be the “Years to Visit Mongolia,” and during this time, any Taiwanese citizen may apply to enter Mongolia using an electronic visa. The Mongolian representative office in Taiwan collaborates with businesses to participate in international travel expos every year. This year, their booth attracted approximately 20,000 visitors, making the event highly significant. Prior to the global pandemic, 5000 visitors from Taiwan traveled to Mongolia in 2019. Mongolia has so far received over 2000 Taiwanese visitors in 2023.

Deputy Commissioner Shiue Chiu-Huo of the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism indicated that both Taiwan and Mongolia have potential for expanding their tourism industries and complementing one another with their tourism resources. Deputy Commissioner Shiue also indicated that visitors from Mongolia are invited to participate in Taipei’s activities such as the Summer Festival and New Year’s Eve celebrations or to visit Taiwan to escape from the cold of Mongolia’s winter. He expressed his hopes for developing channels for promoting travel between Taipei and Ulaanbaatar to deepen the bilateral tourism relationship. Representative Zolzaya responded by indicating that he supported further collaboration between Taipei and Ulaanbaatar as a means of developing tourism and offered to assist in the process by recommending organizations in Ulaanbaatar that could be contacted to do so. The representative also indicated that he would be glad to sign a memorandum of tourism collaboration between the two cities.

Representative Zolzaya stated that Mongolia is a developing country, with half of its national population residing in the capital. Because of this, Ulaanbaatar faces challenges such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and flooding. His residence in Mongolia was recently affected by flooding. Consequently, he was particularly impressed by a recent event in which Taipei was able to prevent flooding despite having experienced 15 consecutive days of rain and that Ulaanbaatar could learn from Taipei’s experience.

The Mongolian representative also acknowledged Mayor Chiang’s understanding of Mongolian policies and expressed a desire to engage in exchanges with Taipei in areas other than smart city development. Representative Zolzaya extended an invitation to Mayor Chiang to visit Ulaanbaatar and reported that he recalled attending Chiang’s inauguration in 2022 with Deputy Representative Altandush Ulziibat. He praised Chiang as a young and promising leader with whom he hoped to work closely as leaders and partners in further exchanges.

Mayor Chiang concluded by expressing a desire for tourism exchanges between Ulaanbaatar and Taipei and the establishment of channels to facilitate travel between the two cities. He invited Mongolian nationals to visit Taipei in winter to experience Taiwan’s food and way of life.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mayor Chiang presented the Mongolian representative with a Tieguanyin tea gift set from the Muzha Maokong Water and Soil Conservation Tea Garden and a Bravo bear portable fan, stating that the gifts embodied Taipei and Ulaanbaatar’s common goals regarding sustainable development and could help the Mongolian representatives withstand the summer heat of Taipei. Representative Zolzaya in turn presented Mayor Chiang with a Mongolian calligraphy painting in which the word Taipei was written in Mongolian, to symbolize the sister city relationship between Taipei and Ulaanbaatar. He also gifted an album of Mongolian photography, which the representative said would serve as a preview of the sights Mayor Chiang would see on his expected visit to Mongolia.