EU member countries on Tuesday next week are to hold their first forum in Taipei to pitch investment opportunities directly to Taiwanese companies, with the top EU envoy encouraging local businesses to play an important role in Europe’s post-pandemic economic development.
It is in the interest of Taiwanese companies to increase their presence in Europe, especially as global supply chains are being restructured due to the COVID-19 pandemic, European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan Director Filip Grzegorzewski said on Friday.
Companies around the world have drawn lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, Grzegorzewski said.
“We have to rethink global supply chains and the resilience of operations,” he said, adding that the EU does not want to be too dependent on one market or one source of raw materials.
Taiwan has the potential to become one of the EU’s top partners, especially in the auto, mobility, health, biotech, and information and communications technology sectors, which Taiwan champions, Grzegorzewski said.
In view of this, the EETO is to host the first-ever EU Investment Forum at the Taipei International Convention Center, with 15 EU member states participating, he said.
All EU members with a presence in Taiwan are to participate, including Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and Slovakia, he said.
The forum would use videoconferencing to connect investment agencies from those countries with potential investors in Taiwan, enabling them to interact on various topics, including business incentives, Grzegorzewski said, adding that the forum is an important milestone in Taiwan-EU relations.
The EU is a single market with 450 million consumers and Taiwanese investors can benefit from the free flow of capital, goods, people and services within the bloc, not to mention the quality of life in Europe, he said.
The EU last year was the biggest investor in Taiwan, accounting for about 25 percent of the nation’s foreign direct investment, according to EETO data.
However, only 1.7 percent of Taiwanese investments abroad go to the EU, the data showed.
Considering Taiwan’s economic strengths, it has the potential to be a global presence and the European market presents untapped potential for it, Grzegorzewski said.
“We have 41 trade agreements across the globe that cover 72 countries. So, once you put an investment in Europe, you get access to not only the whole market of the EU, you can reach out to the rest of the world easily,” he said.
Although it is easier for Taiwanese investors to go to Southeast Asia or China due to their geographical proximity, Grzegorzewski said that investing in Europe is not particularly difficult and brings with it a lot of benefits.
“By getting closer to consumers, by getting access to a highly educated workforce and by getting access to a market with the same standards, you cut costs,” he said, adding that Taiwan does not have to rely on cheap labor in neighboring countries because its industries are no longer labor-intensive.
Regarding the prospect of a trade agreement between the EU and Taiwan, Grzegorzewski said it would depend on the new trade strategy under development in the EU.
However, the more momentum there is in economic relations between the EU and Taiwan, including business investments, the easier it would be for the two sides to move on to the next phase of negotiations on trade deals, he added.
The rise of the cryptocurrency dogecoin has reached a new level after the token was used to pay for a lunar satellite launch. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial rocket firm, is to embark on a moon voyage next year carrying a so-called cubesat — a mini-satellite used for space research — from Geometric Energy Corp that has been paid for entirely in dogecoin. The development is the latest twist in the saga over the digital token, which started as a joke in 2013, but is now a dominating Internet meme and sitting on a 21,000 percent rally in the past year. Musk has
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said. Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City. The bank based its AML policies on those of its US-based parent company, Citigroup Inc, but the policies
CAPACITY EXPANSION: Construction of the site, which is to be the firm’s first mRNA production facility outside of Europe, is to begin this year and likely finish in 2023 COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech SE yesterday said it would build a Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site in Singapore to produce hundreds of millions of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines per year. Construction of the site would start this year, and it could become operational by 2023, the German company said in a statement. “With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase our overall network capacity, and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world,” BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin said. The vaccine produced by BioNTech jointly with Pfizer Inc of
OUTBREAK: About 200 of the airline’s 1,200 pilots are not able to work. Most of them have been quarantined to prevent further infection, but 12 have COVID-19 China Airlines Ltd (CAL,中華航空) yesterday confirmed that it would temporarily reduce its cargo flight services to cope with a pilot shortage, as one-sixth of its pilots have been sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak. “We are working out a new schedule,” the airline said in a statement after local news media reports on Saturday said that it would be reducing its cargo services from Wednesday, primarily affecting US destinations. CAL declined to give details about its new operating plan, but the reports said that it would be suspending its cargo flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and