Tue, Jun 05, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan-EU investment pact talks urged

Staff writer, with CNA

Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji, front row center, Environmental Protection Agency Minister Lee Ying-yuan, front row third right, Minister or Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin, front row left, European Economic and Trade Office head Madeleine Majorenko, front row second left, EU Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entreprenturship and SMEs Deputy Director-General Antti Peltomaki, front row third left, and others attend yesterday opening ceremony of European Innovation Week at the Taipei International Convention Center.

Photo: CNA

The EU should start negotiations with Taiwan on a bilateral investment agreement as soon as possible, Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) said yesterday at the opening of European Innovation Week in Taipei.

Such an agreement would offer greater protection to investors in both Taiwan and the EU amid growing economic cooperation between the two sides, he said.

European investors have been investing more heavily in Taiwan in the past few years and have shown keen interest in Taiwan’s burgeoning offshore wind energy development projects, which would make such a pact even more vital at this time, he said.

European investors poured US$10.6 billion into Taiwan over the past two years, accounting for about 25 percent of the EU’s aggregate investment of US$44.7 billion in the nation, he said.

Taiwan and the EU have a common economic goal of speeding up the pace of industrial upgrade and innovations, which creates plenty of opportunities for a mutually beneficial situation, he said.

They also both have a sound investment environment, a growing pool of talent and a booming tech sector, which have led to strategic partnerships in industries such as information and communications technology, machinery, renewable energy and biotech development, he said.

On the sidelines of the opening ceremony, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) told reporters that working groups from Taiwan and the EU are expected first to discuss a negotiation framework for a bilateral investment agreement.

EU Directorate General of the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Deputy Director-General Antti Peltomaki said bilateral trade between Taiwan and the EU last year grew by about an annual 10 percent and many European companies are attending European Innovation Week to seek business opportunities.

Peltomaki is heading the European Commission’s delegation to the event.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said European Innovation Week would include a series of seminars on topics such as the circular economy, smart manufacturing, smart transportation, 5G and medical equipment development, and wind energy.

Meanwhile, B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer) and C2C (cluster to cluster) matchmaking meetings are scheduled to be held today, according to the official European Innovation Week Web site.

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