Sat, May 28, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Groups aimed at boosting European relations launched

BELGIAN BOOST:Officials have been impressed with Taiwan’s social and political developments toward a free democratic system, the Belgian representative said

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers launched two new parliamentary friendship organizations yesterday aimed at promoting bilateral ties with Belgium and Slovenia.

Pingtung County DPP Legislator Chung Chia-Pin (鍾佳濱) led the preparatory work and was named chairman of both the Taiwan-Belgium Congressional Association and the Taiwan-Slovenia Congressional Association.

“We can develop more active interactions with our parliamentary counterparts in Belgium and Slovenia to enhance commerce and business investment.” Chung said. “The organizations can also expand foreign relations with European countries and support President Tsai Ing-wen’s [蔡英文] new efforts on international diplomacy.”

Legislative Speaker Su Chia-chuan (蘇嘉全) is to serve as honorary chairman of both organizations, which are mostly made up of DPP members, with the addition of New Power Party legislators Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明).

European Economic and Trade Office Head Madeleine Majorenko also attended the event.

In his address, Belgian Representative to Taiwan Rik van Droogenbroeck said that a delegation of Belgian government officials and parliamentarians visited Taiwan earlier this year, and that frequency of official Belgium visits has increased in recent years, as officials have been impressed with Taiwan’s social and political developments toward a free democratic system.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung (吳志中) said that he would consider promoting soccer diplomacy to broaden Taiwan’s international friendship and sporting links, as Belgium are among the favorites for Euro 2016, which starts next month, and Belgian-Taiwanese player Xavier Chen (陳昌源) is a popular figure, who many think should captain the Taiwan national team.

With regards to Slovenia, Chung said that many Taiwanese companies are interested in exploring business opportunities and developing bilateral trade with the country.

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