Legislators yesterday inaugurated the Taiwan-Italy Interparliamentary Amity Association to facilitate exchanges between lawmakers and officials of the nations.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), who is to chair the committee, presided over the opening ceremony at the legislature in Taipei, which was also attended virtually by Italian lawmakers.
Thirty Taiwanese legislators from across party lines have joined the committee, symbolizing the nation’s unity on foreign affairs and the importance of Taiwan-Italy relations, Wang said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Taiwan and Italy have grown closer over the past year, Wang said, citing for example newly elected Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s declaration that “Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” as well as a unanimous resolution passed in June by the Italian Chamber of Deputies Foreign Affairs Committee calling for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the WHO.
The two sides can look forward to more opportunities for cooperation on information technology, electric vehicles, energy, security and defense, he added.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明諺) said that closer ties between Taiwan and Italy are apparent in two respects.
First is the establishment of direct flights between Taipei and Milan, as well as the expected resumption of flights between Taipei and Rome, which were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Italy is also Taiwan’s third-largest trading partner in the EU, with trade volume reaching US$5.58 billion, he added.
Taiwanese firms have also announced large investments in Italy, including a NT$2.38 billion (US$73.96 million) injection into electric vehicle production by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and GlobalWafers’ new plans for a 12-inch fab in the European nation, Tsai said.
Italian Senator Lucio Malan, who chairs the Italy-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, welcomed the new committee in a video statement, saying he looks forward to working together.
Italy and Taiwan have many commonalities and can work together on shared issues of concern, he added.
Italian Senator Mario Borghese also said he looks forward to meeting his Taiwanese counterparts in the near future to start a “new chapter” of cooperation.
Legislators Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) of the DPP, Charles Chen (陳以信) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) of the Taiwan People’s Party and Claire Wang (王婉諭) of the New Power Party, along with independent Legislator Freddie Lim (林昶佐), are to serve as vice chairs of the committee.
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