EU ‘likely to consider’ a bilateral investment pact

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, May 17, 2014 - Page 3

The EU is likely to consider a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan “in due course,” the head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taipei, Frederic Laplanche, said on Thursday.

Laplanche said the EU and Taiwan already have held more than 25 years of bilateral consultations to discuss major trade issues and have managed to resolve almost all problems related to market access.

“In other words, we are preparing the grounds so that the bilateral relation[ship] is ready for further, more ambitious goals,” Laplanche said. “It is clear for us that the bilateral investment agreement is worth considering in due course.”

The EU representative said he has felt mounting pressure from Taiwan to discuss such an accord or a free-trade agreement, which could produce “good economic things.”

“And I’m sure that our step-by-step approach will allow us to reach safely our destination,” Laplanche said.

European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan chairman Giuseppe Izzo said the government and the private sector need to work together to provide decent jobs and hope for the future.