Envoy to France pushes Limoges and Yingge tie-up

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - Page 5

Representative to France Michel Lu (呂慶龍) visited the French city of Limoges earlier this month to promote a potential partnership with Yingge (鶯歌), New Taipei City (新北市), Taiwan’s pottery and ceramic center, and invite more French investment in Taiwan.

During the visit, Lu met Alain Rodet, the mayor of the city famed for its porcelain ware, on Sept. 14. Lu told Rodet that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) China policy has helped stabilize cross-strait relations, enabling French businesspeople to make Taiwan a center for expanding in the Greater China market.

Lu expressed the hope that Yingge could join Rodet’s pet project — Route mondiale de la ceramique, which links five ceramic producers in four nations (France, South Korea, China and Japan) to exchange and share information, experience, training and development.

Rodet welcomed Lu’s suggestion that he join the French National Assembly’s France-Taiwan Friendship Group (Le groupe d’amitie France-Taiwan) and lead a delegation to Taiwan to expand bilateral economic ties. The mayor added that he would consider heading such a delegation in the second half of next year.

Lu also spoke with Mar Faillet, director of the local chamber of commerce, telling him that many French cities’ chambers of commerce have had success in working with Taiwanese businesses and encouraging Faillet to promote French investment in Taiwan.

Faillet invited Lu to visit Limoges again so he could meet members of the local chamber of commerce and speak in greater detail about Taiwan, as well as cross-strait and Taiwan-French trade and economic relations.

At the invitation of Jean-Pierre Gros, president of the chamber of artisans and handicraft, Lu was warmly received by officials from local handicraft corporations.

The companies that attended the event expressed a high level of interest in forming working partnerships with Taiwan, Lu said.