The next representative to Sweden, Vincent Yao (姚金祥), yesterday said he would boost bilateral trade relations as well as collaborations with Europe and the US over 5G network industry when he takes up his new post this month.
Yao has been director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of North American Affairs since December 2018.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典) is to replace Yao at the department.
Yao told a news briefing that his work over the past two decades had mostly focused on North American affairs.
His new post would be his first assignment in Europe and he looks forward to new challenges, Yao said.
While imports and exports from Sweden are fairy balanced, the nation has been unable to reciprocate Sweden’s enthusiasm for investment in Taiwan, he said.
Bilateral trade last year totaled nearly US$1.31 billion, and Taiwan was Sweden’s sixth-largest Asian trading partner, Yao said, citing statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Foreign Trade.
Bilateral trade has been growing year on year since 2015, Yao said.
Swedish support, such as backing the nation’s bid to participate in the World Health Assembly as an observer, has been growing and is a solid foundation for warm bilateral relations, he said.
Stockholm-based IT giant Ericsson is collaborating with Taiwan over 5G,while Chunghwa Telecom used technology developed by Ericsson as it introduced commercial 5G networks on June 30, he said.
The ties could be expanded to form a 5G collaboration between Taiwan, the US and Europe, he said.
In related news, the ministry announced some diplomatic personnel changes.
Former grand justice Lo Chang-fa (羅昌發) has been appointed as representative to the WTO, it said.
Former Straits Exchange Foundation chairwoman Katharine Chang (張小月) is to replace Vanessa Shih (史亞平) as representative to Austria, while Shih is to chair the foreign ministry’s Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, the foreign ministry said.
The ministry has faced criticism, as the nation’s representative to the WTO, one of the few international bodies in which Taiwan has official membership, has been vacant since September last year.
Lo’s familiarity with international economic law, WTO legal affairs and international trade law means he is more than qualified for the position, the foreign ministry said.
In 2008, Lo was appointed as a member of the Permanent Group of Experts at the WTO’s Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and in 2006 was a panelist on the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, it said.
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