Taipei’s mayor, Ying-jeou Ma, has invited Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell and City Council President Robb Pitts to lead a local business delegation to visit his city’s high-tech firms to determine which companies should be investing here.

      “That is the starting point, I think, for further investment from Taiwan,” Mr. Ma, a leader in Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, told GlobalFax during an interview in Atlanta on Aug. 18.

      He has been considered one of his party’s brightest lights since he defeated Chen-Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party in the 1998 mayoral race. Since then, however, Mr. Chen was elected president in an upset victory March 18, ending the National Party’s five-decade-long control of Taiwan’s presidency.

Mr. Ma spoke of the close relations that have tied Atlanta and Taipei together as Sister Cities for more than 20 years and recommended that representatives of Georgia companies from the entire state who are interested in the development of the island’s high-tech sector visit as well.

“Taipei is strong in the development of hardware such as computers and peripheral equipment,” he said. “And we are catching up on software.”

During his three-day Atlanta visit, he reviewed opportunities for student exchanges and indicated his office would stay in touch with Mr. Campbell’s wife, Sharon, who is responsible for developing the Atlanta school system’s exchange programs.

He also said that he especially would like to see programs developed for artists who would be able to stay for periods of time long enough for them to create works of art reflecting their visits.

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For more information, call Alice Wang of the Information Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta at (404) 522-0481 or send an e-mail to