Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Europe Fair, ‘Moomoo’ laud Taiwan-EU ties

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, left, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, second right, and European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) head Madeleine Majorenko drink a toast at the opening of the EETO’s annual Europe Fair in Taipei’ Xinyi District yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan and 15 European representatives yesterday opened the third annual Europe Fair in Taipei, touting warming Taiwan-EU ties.

The two-day fair features more than 50 stands selling European food and products in the city’s Xinyi District (信義).

The event is part of the EETO’s efforts to mark Europe Day on Wednesday, the 68th anniversary of the presentation of a plan by then-French minister of foreign affairs Robert Schuman to create a European coal and steel community that paved the way for today’s EU.

“We are this year not only celebrating the EU’s birthday, as we always do on May 9, but we are also celebrating 15 years of my office here in Taiwan and 30 years of EU-Taiwan cooperation,” EETO Head Madeleine Majorenko said at the opening ceremony yesterday morning.

The many stands at the fair seek to bring Europe to Taiwan, while hopefully inspiring Taiwanese to bring Taiwan to Europe, Majorenko said.

“Whether you come as a tourist, a student or maybe for work one day, you are most welcome. Europe embraces you with welcome and open arms,” Majorenko said before unveiling the first-ever EU mascot, a blue buffalo nicknamed “Moomoo” that was designed by Fu Jen Catholic University student Chien Pei-yi (簡佩怡).

The buffalo combines symbolism from the EU and Taiwan, as it is reminiscent Europa from Greek mythology, a princess who was seduced and abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull and after whom Europe was named, and Taiwan’s water buffalo, which signifies perseverance and hard work, Majorenko said.

Europe has always been a popular tourism destination for Taiwanese, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said at the ceremony, adding that last year saw a record 330,000 Europeans visit Taiwan.

In light of more and more airlines opening direct flights between Taipei and European cities, Wu expressed the hope that the number of European tourists to Taiwan would continue to grow.

The fair is scheduled to end at 9pm today.

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