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.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo