Holy Stone Healthcare (禾伸堂生技), a subsidiary of the world’s top mutilayer ceramic capacitor producer, Holy Stone Enterprise Co (禾伸堂), plans to set up its European headquarters in the UK next year, British Minister of State for Trade and Investment Stephen Green said in Taipei yesterday.
It is the third investment by Holy Stone Healthcare in the UK after it invested a total of US$2 million in 2007 and last year, the banker-turned-politician told a media briefing.
Green attributed the Taiwanese firm’s decision to the UK’s world-class research and development (R&D), creativity and innovation in biotechnology and quick access to the European market.
Holy Stone Healthcare, Taiwan’s sole agent for latent tuberculosis testing kits and the developer of a drug to treat inflammatory bowel disease, will inaugurate its European headquarters next year to manage its medical device business and pharmaceuticals sales, marketing and research and development in Europe, Green said.
“Further R&D collaborations are under discussion,” the minister said.
Green, a former HSBC chairman and CEO, was leading a British delegation in talks with Taiwanese officials and corporate executives on ways to improve bilateral trade and the investment environment, particularly in pharmaceuticals, beverages and financial services sectors.
The visiting minister rooted for British companies keen to participate in renewable and infrastructure projects.
“Taiwan has announced it will invest more than NT$2.3 trillion [US$79.1 billion] in establishing a low-carbon economy and developing green energy and technology industries,” Green said.
“I see huge potential for UK-Taiwan partnership for green growth because our businesses have world-class capabilities in energy and resource efficiency, leading green technologies and innovative thinking in climate adaptation,” he added.
Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠), who opened the trade talks yesterday morning in which 70 Taiwanese firms took part, said the nation aimed to tap British expertise in setting up an offshore wind power supply chain.
The UK is Taiwan’s third-largest trade partner in Europe and its second-largest source of foreign capital.
The two sides reached an agreement to meet annually for talks on further cooperation details. The next meeting will be held in London in 12 months’ time, Green said.
Both sides will publish a report every six months to review and facilitate progress, he said.
Green said he visited Taoyuan-based Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world’s largest contract laptop maker, on Thursday and invited its senior executive to visit London next year.
The UK is seeking to turn a part of London’s East End into a technology city modeled on Silicon Valley in the US. The area now houses about 500 high-tech firms, up from 30 in 2008, Green said.