Fri, Jan 16, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Next British Trade office director to be Campbell: official

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

An official at the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) in Taipei said yesterday that David Campbell would succeed BTCO Taipei Director Michael Reilly, who is scheduled to leave the post on Tuesday.

The official said Reilly would to return to Britain no later than Tuesday and that Campbell would take over BTCO operations from the beginning of next month.

The official said the transfer was a routine matter consistent with BTCO protocol and that a news conference to announce the change would be held on Monday.

Meanwhile, British Minister for Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs Gareth Thomas was in Taiwan for bilateral trade talks from Wednesday to today aimed at loosening regulations and improving market access for companies in both Taiwan and Britain.

The official said that since the WTO Committee on Government Procurement had formally approved the accession of Taiwan — under the name of “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu” — to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) on Dec. 9, Thomas hoped to help British companies compete in the sectors of transport equipment, chemicals, manufactured goods, infrastructure and the iTaiwan 12 infrastructure projects that are now open to international competition.

Thomas’ visit to Taiwan is part of a regional tour.

“Taiwan — and other countries in Southeast Asia — is a growing market for UK companies, and my visit is proof that the British government is committed to doing all it can to help companies make the most of global opportunities,” the official quoted Thomas as saying at the start of his visit.

The GPA is designed to make laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement more transparent and to ensure they do not discriminate against foreign products or suppliers.

The BTCO in Taipei operates as Britain’s de facto embassy in the absence of official diplomatic relations.

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