The British Office in Taipei and the Taiwan Financial Services Roundtable yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation and promote the financial technology (fintech) industry.
Bilateral trade amounted to ￡5.5 billion (US$7.24 billion) last year, an annual increase of 1.5 percent, British Minister of State for Trade Policy George Hollingbery said, adding that the UK accounted for 40 percent of Taiwanese investments in Europe.
Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said that the UK is concerned about how to balance development with financial risks as it explores the fintech industry.
Taiwan and the UK could keep communicating with other nations and exchanging views on the matter, Koo said.
The nations are to assist fintech companies by offering free advice for three months in FinTechSpace, the first fintech coworking space in Taiwan, the roundtable said.
If the companies register in Taiwan, they can enjoy the same benefits as domestic start-ups, such as subsidies for up to six months, it added.
The financial sector is important to the UK, as it employs more than 1 million people, British Representative to Taiwan Catherine Nettleton said, adding that financial services are the UK’s main export to Taiwan.
The UK has a competitive advantage in international banking, fund management, insurance and other areas, Hollingbery said, adding that Taiwan’s financial sector is growing fast.
The UK is a fintech leader thanks to its 75,000 skilled and creative workers, more than that of New York City and Silicon Valley combined, he said.
The UK already has four fintech companies valued at more than ￡1 billion each and seven more are emerging, Hollingbery said, adding that the sector is worth ￡7 billion.
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