Italian Representative to Taiwan Davide Giglio has praised the nation as a “silent giant” of the global supply chain, saying he is looking forward to establishing closer cooperation with Taiwan’s world-leading semiconductor sector.
“Taiwan’s role in global production chains has largely gone unnoticed until recently. This may have to do with the fact that Taiwanese companies do not always enjoy strong brand power,” Giglio said in an interview with the Central News Agency.
However, a global chip shortage has brought to light Taiwan’s strength in such a strategically important sector, he said.
Italy, a leader in the automotive sector, was quick to realize that the strong position of Taiwan in semiconductor production made it an asset that all countries were interested in working with, the head of the Italian Economic, Commercial and Cultural Promotion Office in Taipei said.
Taiwan’s advantage is not exclusive to semiconductors, Giglio said, citing a joint venture launched by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and automaker Stellantis in May, when the two firms announced the establishment of a company to provide smart cockpit solutions for vehicles.
Giglio took up the post in Taipei in July 2019. Months after his arrival, the COVID-19 pandemic began and Italy became an epicenter of the disease in Europe. Rome implemented a number of strict measures to contain the disease, including banning flights from Taiwan, which caused resentment in the nation.
Explaining the decision, Giglio said the “extraordinary circumstances demanded quick actions aimed at preserving public health” and that Italy had to take “far-reaching measures.”
The ban was temporary and was lifted in July last year, he said.
Since then, Taiwanese carriers have been free to decide when to resume flights to Italy, he said.
However, no local carriers have returned to their previous flight schedules.
Giglio said Italy has been encouraging a change of attitude by Taiwan.
“In order to remain open for business, countries have to remain highly vigilant and yet compromise,” he said.
Cross-strait tensions have also continued to rise during Giglio’s tenure in Taipei, with Beijing sending military aircraft and ships near Taiwanese waters and airspace on an almost daily basis.
Asked for Italy’s view about the matter, Giglio said that as a member of the G7, Italy had repeatedly expressed its concerns about any unilateral action that could escalate tensions and undermine stability in the region.
It has been Italy’s consistent view that stability across the Taiwan Strait should be achieved via dialogue, he said.
It is also a prevailing view in Europe that sustained involvement of the EU in the Indo-Pacific region might contribute to the easing of tensions, he added.
An EU policy has been articulated and it would be progressively spelled out with the contribution of all EU member states, including Italy, Giglio said.
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