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EU and Taiwan seek closer trade ties at Brussels meeting
Taiwan Trade Center, Bucharest


  • Publication Date: November 29, 2016
EU and Taiwan seek closer trade ties at Brussels meetingRepublic of China (Taiwan) Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (center) speaks at the 28th Trade Consultation Meeting between Taiwan and the EU Nov. 25 in Brussels, Belgium. (Courtesy of Bureau of Foreign Trade)

The 28th Trade Consultation Meeting between Taiwan and the European Union was held Nov. 25 in Brussels, Belgium, highlighting continued efforts by the two sides to forge closer economic ties.

The annual meeting was jointly presided over by Republic of China (Taiwan) Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua and Mauro Petriccione, deputy director-general of the European Commission’s Directorate General of Trade. Both sides called for increased cooperation and exchanged views on progress reports made by working groups in areas such as technical barriers to trade and intellectual property rights.

“Taiwan and the EU should ink a bilateral investment agreement as soon as possible to create favorable investment environments for each other’s enterprises,” Wang said. “The nation is promoting offshore wind farms, the smart machine industry and circular economy. We hope European companies put in investment or seek technical cooperation with Taiwan partners in these areas so the two sides can build closer connections.”

Representatives praised an agreement signed Nov. 25 in Taipei between the European Anti-Fraud Office, which is part of European Commission, and Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade and Customs Administration under the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Finance, respectively. The accord, they said, reflects Taiwan and the EU’s commitment to fighting illegal transshipping and customs-related fraud.

The European side expressed concern, however, about a longstanding backlog of fruit and meat products awaiting export to Taiwan. In response, Taiwan representatives said measures have been taken to address the issue in the past three years, noting that US$100 million in EU-produced pork was imported in 2015, a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

Regarding the protection of intellectual property rights, representatives agreed to make a biannual meeting of an IPR working group an annual event starting in 2017.

During the meeting, Wang mentioned progress being made through channels such as the Industrial Policy Dialogue, which since 2015 has worked to boost bilateral economic relations. She said the second edition of the annual event held earlier this year in Taipei brought about 100 European enterprises to Taiwan, and the MOEA will soon start preparations for the 2017 event taking place in Brussels.

The EU is Taiwan’s fifth largest trade partner after mainland China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the U.S. and Japan, while Taiwan is the EU’s seventh largest trading partner in Asia. The EU is also Taiwan’s No. 1 source of foreign direct investment. (OC-E)

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