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European Parliament adopts resolution on EU-Taiwan economic and trade relations, supports bilateral investment agreement

  • Date:2013-10-09
  • Data Source:公眾外交協調會

Press Release No. 265
During its plenary session on October 9, 2013, in Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on EU-Taiwan trade relations. The resolution urges the European Commission (EC) to begin talks with Taiwan over an agreement on investment protection and market access so as to deepen economic and trade relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the European Union, for the benefit of both sides. The ROC government welcomes this resolution and is grateful to the EP.
The resolution points out that, while economic and trade ties between Taiwan and the EU are in good shape, in terms of volume they still lag behind those it enjoys with its other main trade partners. Given the potential for future growth, the EP wants to see the EU and Taiwan continue cooperating through multilateral trade organizations. More importantly, however, it also wants the EC to start talks with Taiwan on an agreement covering investment protection and market access, so as to enhance the legal framework for investment, as well as increase the volume and quality of bilateral investment flows. Furthermore, the EP believes that signing such an agreement would also demonstrate EU support for Taiwan’s democratic system, social pluralism, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The EU is Taiwan’s fourth largest trade partner worldwide and largest source of foreign direct investment. Meanwhile, Taiwan is the EU’s seventh largest trade partner in Asia. The EU’s and Taiwan’s economic strengths and industrial structures complement each other well, and there is ample scope for greater cooperation in the ICT industry, among others. As such, in the annual report on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of May 11, 2011, the EP stated that it “strongly supports the enhancement of EU-Taiwan economic ties and the signing of an EU-Taiwan economic cooperation agreement.” Then, in the CFSP annual report released on September 12, 2012, the EP “urges the Commission and the Council . . . to take concrete steps to further enhance EU-Taiwan economic relations, and to facilitate the negotiation of an EU-Taiwan economic cooperation agreement.” 
Combined with the above, this latest resolution clearly shows that Taiwan and the EU have a shared vision for their mutually beneficial economic relations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs therefore calls on the EC to begin negotiations with Taiwan on an investment agreement, which will also help pave the way for a comprehensive bilateral economic cooperation agreement (ECA) in the future. (E)