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Fri, Oct 03, 2003 - Page 17 News List

Germany, Taiwan enjoy sustained expansion of trading relationship

By Axel Bartkus

The economic and trade relations between Taiwan and Germany are based on a solid foundation. It was this solid foundation which helped the two countries overcome the negative influence of SARS, which placed a major burden on companies and institutions in terms of economic losses and additional burdens. In the year 2002 the bilateral trade volume between Germany and Taiwan reached nearly US$11 billion, which is the best result since the boom year of 2000. Due to consistent trade promotion activities and the efforts of industries, bilateral trade increased even further in the first eight months of this year.

This achievement is the result of the stable development of close trade and investment relations between Germany and Taiwan which have developed continuously since the 1980s. At present, Taiwan is the fourth largest trading partner of Germany in Asia and Germany is Taiwan's largest trading partner in Europe.

The Taiwanese economy has set a new course for economic development which is mapped in a new strategic plan called "Challenge 2008," offering new market opportunities in the fields of infrastructure, high-tech and service industries. German companies and products contribute to the new phase of economic transformation in Taiwan and in many areas, German companies and their engineering and products play an important role in the process of modernization. For instance, German technology is applied in Taiwan's core high-tech industries like semiconductors and flat panel production, and major infrastructure projects are under way with German technology and participation.

In addition, German consumer products are in high demand among Taiwanese customers and are much appreciated for their sophisticated product design and quality. For this reason, and to increase brand awareness and introduce new products to the Taiwanese consumer, the German Trade Office Taipei is planning a special German consumer goods show in the spring of 2004.

Products and "Made in Germany" quality are successfully represented in Taiwanese traditional market sectors such as machinery and electrical devices, transport equipment and automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and others. German companies are aware of the opportunities which lay ahead in the next decade, especially after Taiwan's entry into WTO and successful market entry in segments of the banking, retail, insurance, travel and service sectors.

After the success of the German-Taiwanese Environmental Symposium in 2002, an environmental specialist (Environmental-Area-Manager) was established at the German Trade Office (GTO) in 2003 to promote and introduce sophisticated German environmental technology to the Taiwanese market. In autumn 2003, the Environmental-Area-Manager accompanied a high-ranking delegation from the Environmental Protection Agency to Germany.

Taiwan has promoted the development of a knowledge-based economy. Since Germany's dual vocational system is a well established professional education system, the GTO has engaged in a project to introduce and implement a similar system to Taiwan. As a long-term project it is also aimed at supporting the education and training of young people in Taiwan.

The German Trade Office has been helping and supporting German and Taiwanese businesses in Taiwan and Germany for more than 22 years.

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