The government “encourages” talks with the EU about inking a trade agreement, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
“A trade deal would allow us to fight for better, closer and more flexible trade relations with the EU, and produce trusted supply chain partners,” Wang told the online EU Investment Forum in her keynote speech. “It would be a reward and an encouragement for investors.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s continuing effects in Taiwan and Europe, developments in Taiwan-EU trade in the past year are examples of successful Taiwan-EU cooperation, she said.
“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA’s nacelle assembly plant in Taichung was successfully launched [last month], making it the first in the APEC region,” Wang said. “Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) signed a memorandum of understanding with automaker Stellantis NV [in May] to create the next generation of smart car components.”
Sectors in Taiwan and the EU that might cooperate include the Internet of Things, high-end medical devices, biotech and smart energy, she said.
“We have been holding bilateral trade talks on various topics and our goal is to take Taiwanese-European cooperation between companies to the next level,” she said.
Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times
EU Directorate-General for Trade Director-General Sabine Weyand described Taiwan as a “key strategic partner.”
Although Taiwan and the EU are far apart geographically, they share a vision of “an open and interconnected world,” Weyand said.
A recent shortage in auto chips has reminded the world of the importance of supply chains and chips, she said.
Hopefully, Taiwan’s manufacturing prowess and Europe’s advanced chip technology can produce great results together, she said.
Digital transformation, renewable energy, energy storage and network security are other areas for potential cooperation between the two sides, she said.
With 450 million people, the EU is the biggest single market in the world, she said, adding that it guarantees free passage of people, capital and goods in the eurozone.
The European Green Deal and the Digital Europe transition are opportunities for Taiwanese businesses to invest in Europe, she said.
The European Green Deal and Digital Europe represent estimated expenditure of NT$25 trillion (US$889.58 billion).
European officials have said that they provide great opportunities for Taiwanese firms to invest in Europe.
The InvestEU program from this year to 2027 is to provide 26 billion euros (US$30.17 billion) in loan guarantees, the officials said.
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