TAIPEI – Outgoing Netherlands Office Taipei Rep. Guy Wittich was granted honorary citizenship of the metropolis in recognition of his contributions to strengthening relations between the EU member state and special municipality by Mayor Ko Wen-je during a special ceremony July 14 at city hall.
As reported at Taiwan Today, wittich has done much to expand two-way exchanges and deepen friendship while in Taiwan, Ko said. Some international events the representative helped promote include the Smart City Summit and Expo, Taipei Film Festival, Taipei Lantern Festival and Taipei 2017 Universiade, he added.
According to Ko, Wittich has worked tirelessly in boosting collaboration across the areas of culture, education and technology. One of the highlights is the annual working holiday program affording 100 ROC (Taiwan) nationals aged 18 to 30 the opportunity to experience life in the Netherlands, he said.
Wittich was also instrumental in changing the name of his country’s formal representation in Taiwan from its previous moniker of Netherlands Trade and Investment Office, Ko said. The move took place April 27, two days before the representative presented Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu with a gift of tulips on King’s Day, which doubles as the Dutch national day, in recognition of Taiwan’s donation of surgical masks and other essential coronavirus-combating items to the Netherlands.
Wu was not the only one to feel the warmth of Dutch gratitude April 29 in Taiwan. The office sent 3,999 tulips and stroopwafels—a moreish baked caramel treat—to medical staffers serving around the country.
Wittich, who took over as representative and head of mission in August 2015, has spent nearly 30 years in Asia’s private and public sectors. After finishing next month, he will return to the Netherlands and a role with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.