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.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,