Taiwan and Germany yesterday morning inked an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, with the first German federal Cabinet minister to visit Taiwan in 26 years presiding over the ceremony.
Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) and German Institute Taipei Director-General Jorg Polster signed the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement (STA) at the National Science and Technology Council in Taipei.
The signing was overseen by German Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger, who arrived yesterday morning for a two-day visit.
Photo: AFP / National Science and Technology Council
The STA focuses on artificial intelligence, semiconductors, lithium batteries and hydrogen for use in green energy, council Minister Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) said.
It also seeks to cultivate talent, in particular Chinese-language education for German students, he said, adding that it would enable more exchange opportunities for young people.
Wu also hailed the “historic” visit by the German minister, saying that it shows Taiwan is a realiable partner.
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP
When he invited Stark-Watzinger to visit Taiwan during his trip to Germany in November last year, Wu said he never thought she would make it happen within a mere four months.
This shows that Europe — especially Germany — now views Taiwan in a new light, as a free democracy that respects human rights, he said.
Given their strengths in science and technology, Taiwan and Germany complement each other, Wu said.
The STA would set the stage for success, he said, crediting it to the hard work of Taiwan’s 23 million people.
Taiwan is a respected partner in technological research, Stark-Watzinger said, adding that global challenges must be faced together with like-minded countries.
Taiwan and Germany share the values of democracy, transparency, openness and freedom, and have already enjoyed many years of cooperation in various technical fields, she said.
Their complementary technological advantages provide plenty of space for further cooperation, she said.
The new STA would pave the way for more extensive cooperation in economic innovation and high-tech research to the benefit of both sides, she added.
Stark-Watzinger is the first German Cabinet minister to visit Taiwan in 26 years, following a visit by then-German minister of economics Gunter Rexrodt in 1997.
Yesterday afternoon, Stark-Watzinger led her delegation of 14 to visit National Taiwan University.
The delegation is to visit the Siemens training center at Nangang Vocational High School in Taipei this morning, and later meet with Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) to exchange views on Chinese-language education and semiconductor academies.
In the afternoon, they are to visit the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute in Hsinchu before leaving for the airport.
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